Ireland worst affected in Europe by Nemucod ransomware

11 Mar 2016

Ireland is near the top of a list of countries that no one want to be on, that being, the most-targeted nations for the ransomware known as Nemucod, ranking second in the world.

The Nemucod ransomware is one of the most malicious found at the moment, accounting for high percentages of viruses in many nations across Europe, North America and Asia, but Ireland is by-far one of the most affected.

Discovered towards the end of last year, Nemucod acts as a trojan, using infected attachments sent to a person and, when it is opened, encrypts the victims’ files on their PCs.

Whoever has instigated the ransomware will then demand payment for the return of the files, typically done through bitcoin transactions where there is little-to-no traceability.

To make matters worse, the ransomware typically used is either TeslaCrypt or Locky, which both use encryption standards similar to those used by financial institutions when securing online payments.

At least we’re not in Japan

The emails are typically written in a very trustworthy way, claiming to be invoices, notices of appearance in court or other official documents.

Sadly for Irish users, ESET Ireland’s research into its prevalence shows that, sitting just behind Japan, Ireland is the second-biggest target for Nemucod ransomware, with a detection rate of 50.42pc.

This compares with the global detection rate, which sits at around 15.82pc, but not as high as Japan’s 74.79pc.

Those concerned that they may have received Nemucod software should take all of the typical precautions, such as not opening suspicious attachments, keeping your anti-virus regularly updated and back-up your files regularly, too.

Woman with chalkboard image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic