Ransomware – also known as blackmailer viruses – are becoming an ever-increasing threat and one of the latest variants, Redboot, is particularly nasty.

Redboot takes things a stage further than the ransomware attacks that have emerged to date. It overwrites the boot sector of your hard drive, encrypts your files and can even repartition your drive. The result is that Windows will not start and you can no longer access or recover any of your important files.

After restarting your PC once infected, a message is shown on a red background, listing an email address. The message claims that you can contact this address in order to unlock your data – after paying a ransom, of course. If you do pay the fee, there is no guarantee that they will send you the key needed to decrypt the data.

This nasty virus is, like most other similar infections, spread via malicious email attachments. When you open the attachment, the virus decompresses itself and gets to work. The only option you then have is to wipe your hard drive, re-install Windows and then restore your system from a backup.

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