Microsoft Office 365 Hit With Massive “Cerber Ransomware” Attack


office 365 hit with macro malwareShort Bytes: The Cerber ransomware is here to lock down your important documents and force you to pay ransom in the form of bitcoins. This malware targets the Office 365 documents and even plays a creepy audio warning message demanding the ransom.

The cyber criminals have found a new target in the form of Microsoft Office 365 and hit it with a massive zero-day attack.

Dubbed Cerber ransomware, it’s being spread mainly via phishing emails and targets documents, photos, and other files by encrypting them and asking for ransom. Apart from the ransom note, it also gives a spooky audio warning.

For providing the decryption key, the attacker asks for a ransom worth 1.4 bitcoins, or about $500.

The attack was first spotted on June 22 by Steven Toole, a security researcher working at a security firm Avanan. Redmond detected the attack on June 23 and began blocking such malicious attachments 24 hours later.

Below is the screenshot of the virus as it appears to the infected Office 365 users:Cerber office 365 ransomware

According to the estimation made by Avanan, a staggering 57% organizations using Office 365 on their security platform were targeted at least once by this malware.

The recent wave of attacks seems to be a variation of a virus that was originally detected earlier in March. The recent incarnation of the tool is more advanced and equipped with an ability to bypass the security tools of the Office 365.

To protect users from Cerber ransomware, we advise the users to keep their antivirus software updated. Users are also encouraged to disable Macros in their Microsoft Office software suite.

If you are willing to know more about the macro malware and the methods to defeat it, you can read our Macro Malware guide.

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Adarsh Verma

Adarsh Verma

Fossbytes co-founder and an aspiring entrepreneur who keeps a close eye on open source, tech giants, and security. Get in touch with him by sending an email — [email protected]
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