Why You Need to Know About Bart

Bart is one name you should hope never to encounter in the cyber world. Bart is a new ransomware threat that debuted in the summer of 2016. This sly, elegant threat shows no signs of slowing down. It is actually very similar to the infamous Locky virus that swept across the world and infiltrated countless home computers and corporate networks. When it comes to protecting your network, you can’t defend against an enemy you don’t know. It is important to learn about the characteristics that make Bart so difficult to detect and prevent. Take a moment to learn more about this dark program to see if your current network security system can stand up against it.

What Is Ransomware?
Ransom notes have been a calling card of criminals for nearly as long as there’s been crime. However, today’s cyber criminals have taken the old tradition of ransom notes to a new and disturbing extreme. Ransomware essentially acts as a virus that holds systems and files hostage until a fee is paid. Once hackers develop an effective ransomware virus, they then sell the program on the black market in much the same way a person might sell a legitimate program. The purchasers of these malicious programs then spread them to unsuspecting people across the world in an attempt to extract ransom money. A victim only realizes that their computer has been infected once they receive a message alerting them to the fact that their files and programs are locked. The ransomware contains a message that demands a specific payment amount in exchange for a code that will unlock the files. The originators of the virus get a cut of money every time a ransom fee is paid. Law enforcement officials have repeatedly urged the public not to pay ransomware fees because there is no proof that hackers will actually hand over a release code once payment has been made.

The Basics of Bart
Bart has many characteristics that make it an interesting and formidable adversary. It is definitely worth investing some time and resources into combating it when you consider that this program has demanded the highest ransom amount of any ransomware up until now. There are some telltale signs that IT professionals should know about when attempting to confirm that a Bart attack has taken place on a network. Here are the key facts about Bart:

• Bart enters a network system when an infected zip folder containing JavaScript files for a malicious program called RocketLoader is opened.

• Bart has a payment screen that is very similar to the one that appears with the Locky virus. However, this virus takes things a step further by encrypting files without first connecting to a command and control server.

• It may possess the capability to encrypt computers behind corporate firewalls that would normally block malicious traffic.

• It is delivered via phishing emails that contain the world “photo” in the subject line.

Why Bart Matters
Bart isn’t just an isolated incident. The scary truth is that new ransomware programs seem to be popping up every few months. It is essential to utilize advanced threat intelligence to take an offensive approach to keeping these malicious programs out of your network. When you pair the high propagation rate of Bart with the fact that it is delivered in such a seemingly harmless package, it becomes almost impossible to avoid. Now is an ideal time to reevaluate your approach to malware protection to see if it can stand up to Bart and the other ever-evolving ransomware threats that are sure to follow. An effective plan should include prevention, detection, isolation and recovery.

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