New ransomware dubbed 'Bad Rabbit' sweeps Eastern Europe: 6 things to know

The Department of Homeland Security U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team issued an alert Tuesday for a new strain of ransomware called "Bad Rabbit."

Here are six things to know about the newest ransomware strain hitting computer systems across the globe.

1. The Bad Rabbit is suspected to be a variant of Petya ransomware, according to the US-CERT alert.

2. A number of organizations in Russia, Ukraine and other Eastern European countries have reportedly fallen victim to attacks, according to Gizmodo. These include Ukraine's transportation and infrastructure organizations and three Russian media outlets.

3. Computers become infected when users download a fake Adobe Flash installer from infected websites and manually launch the .exe file, according to a Kaspersky Lab blog post.

4. Infected victims are directed to a Tor-ridden website and a ransom of 0.05 bitcoin – or $284 at the time this article was published – is demanded. If the victim does not pay the ransom within 40 hours, the cost is increased.

5. The ransom message, which features red text on a black background, is similar to one used in this summer's NotPetya malware attacks, Gizmodo reports.

"Based on our investigation, this is a targeted attack against corporate networks, using methods similar to those used in the [NotPetya] attack," Kaspersky Lab said. "However, we cannot confirm it is related to [NotPetya]. We continue our investigation."

6. US-CERT advises individuals and organizations who believe they may be experiencing a ransomware attack against paying any ransom. Additionally, the department warns that using unpatched and unsupported software may increase their risk of facing an attack.

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