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Necurs Malware Wants a Selfie With Your Desktop

Necurs has returned and this time it's carrying a payload that takes a picture of your desktop.

It's time to check your spam-blockers again because Necurs is back in town. This time it's bringing a new ransomware payload and a way to check on your defenses.

Necurs is one of the more notorious botnets out there, but it's been relatively quiet for several months. Now, though, it's back with a vengeance and it has some new arrows in its quiver of bad news. The first arrow is a downloader that takes screen-grabs of an infected desktop to see whether anti-malware efforts are underway.

Researchers from Symantec note that this intelligence-gathering effort is notable because it goes against the trend of most malware-delivery systems. In most cases, the delivery software plants a malicious payload on the receiving system then disappers as quickly as possible. Stealth is the operating model. In this case, though, the attackers have decided it's worth the risk of being discovered to gain intelligence on what victims might be doing to try to rid themselves of the problem.

The problem can be severe in this case, since the most common payload in the new wave of attacks is ransomware called Locky or an additional malware downloader called Trickybot.

In almost all cases, Necurs is coming copmliments of an attached file with instructions like "Print Me" or "Invoice Attached." Up-to-date malware detection systems should recognize the malware, so it's important for companies to keep systems updated and remind employees that opening attachments that are unexpected or from unknown senders is almost never a good idea.

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— Curtis Franklin is the editor of SecurityNow.com. Follow him on Twitter @kg4gwa.

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About the Author(s)

Curtis Franklin, Principal Analyst, Omdia

Curtis Franklin Jr. is Principal Analyst at Omdia, focusing on enterprise security management. Previously, he was senior editor of Dark Reading, editor of Light Reading's Security Now, and executive editor, technology, at InformationWeek, where he was also executive producer of InformationWeek's online radio and podcast episodes

Curtis has been writing about technologies and products in computing and networking since the early 1980s. He has been on staff and contributed to technology-industry publications including BYTE, ComputerWorld, CEO, Enterprise Efficiency, ChannelWeb, Network Computing, InfoWorld, PCWorld, Dark Reading, and ITWorld.com on subjects ranging from mobile enterprise computing to enterprise security and wireless networking.

Curtis is the author of thousands of articles, the co-author of five books, and has been a frequent speaker at computer and networking industry conferences across North America and Europe. His most recent books, Cloud Computing: Technologies and Strategies of the Ubiquitous Data Center, and Securing the Cloud: Security Strategies for the Ubiquitous Data Center, with co-author Brian Chee, are published by Taylor and Francis.

When he's not writing, Curtis is a painter, photographer, cook, and multi-instrumentalist musician. He is active in running, amateur radio (KG4GWA), the MakerFX maker space in Orlando, FL, and is a certified Florida Master Naturalist.

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