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Researchers: Newer type of ransomware is harbinger of danger

Researchers: Newer type of ransomware is harbinger of danger

An unusual strain of virus-like hacker software that exploits computer server vulnerabilities — without requiring human interaction — is a leading example of a new generation of "ransomware," according to a new report by Cisco Systems Inc.

Hackers use such software to target large-scale networks and hold data hostage in exchange for bigger payments. Such a strain, known as Samas or samsam, hit the MedStar Health Inc. hospital chain last month.

In such attacks, hackers target backup files and records, encrypting them to make them an unreadable gobbledygook of characters. To regain access, users without additional safe backups who don't want to lose...

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