Email purporting to be from a Sales Manager claims that your payment has been declined. It asks that you double check the information in the invoice which is supposedly contained in an attached file.
Subject: FW: Payment Declined PIN-738609Dear [Name derived from email address],Our finance department has processed your payment, unfortunately it has been declined.
Please, double check the information provided in the invoice (attached to this mail) and confirm your details.
Thank you for understanding.
This email purports to be from a sales manager, but does not identify the sending company. The email claims that the unnamed company’s finance department has processed your payment, but the payment was declined. It asks that you open an attached .zip file and double check the information you provided on the invoice.
However, the email is not from any legitimate company and the claim that a payment has been declined is just a ruse to trick you into opening the attached file without due caution.
Once installed, Locky will encrypt all of the important files stored on your computer and rename them with the extension .locky. A message will then appear on your monitor that states that you must pay a fee in online currency Bitcoin to receive a decryption key to unlock your files. There is no quick or easy way to recover your files unless you have recent off-computer backups. If you decide to pay the requested fee, you might receive the promised decryption key. However, since you will be dealing with cybercriminals via the dark web, there is certainly no guarantee that they will honour their promise and give you the key.
If you receive one of these emails, just delete it. Do not open any attachments or click any links that it contains.
Last updated: March 15, 2016
First published: March 15, 2016
By Brett M. Christensen