Virus and Ransomware Hybrid Zcrypt Is No Real Threat Just Yet

In case anyone was wondering when the new Bitcoin ransomware collection would be presented, look no further. Zcrypt has arrived, and it is unfortunately much more than just ransomware. Unlike most other types of malware, this particular type is also a virus.

Zcrypt Can Be a Real Pain In The Rear

TheMerkle_Virus Ransomware Malware Zcrypt

To some people, it may seem unclear as to why it is so annoying to have malware that is both ransomware and a virus at the same time. A virus is capable of spreading itself, rather than orchestrating distribution such as the ones needed for malware and ransomware. In the case of Zcrypt, there is no need for malicious email attachments or infected ad networks per se.

But that is not all, as virii also have a habit of remaining in circulation for far longer. Most types of malware die out after a few months, but things are very different with a virus. Despite all of that, it is important to note this is not the first attempt to create a self-spreading ransomware either.

One thing that may put some users at ease is knowing that Zcrypt has not managed to spread itself too far just yet. So far, security experts have not seen this virus in the wild, which may indicate Zcrypt is not as effective as anticipated. Moreover, it seems to try and spread itself through a malicious email attachment, although that is not the most efficient method.

When a user gets infected with Zcrypt, they will be presented with a text telling them to pay a Bitcoin ransom. The fee seems to be fixed at 1.2 Bitcoin, regardless of what the market value of BTC might be at that time. But the text also issues a stern warning to users who want to attempt and remove the malware themselves. Trying to do so will allegedly result in the user’s decryption keys being destroyed.

In the end, it appears as if Zcrypt will not make a significant impact in the foreseeable future. The method of distribution seems rather half-assed, as no one will download an attachment in an email coming from the government of California. Applying common sense will be enough to keep users safe from harm.

Source: Sophos

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