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Google Squares Up to Ransomware Scammers

Google Squares Up to Ransomware Scammers
Google has taken the extreme measure of blocking JavaScript attachments in Gmail to thwart extortionists.

(CCM) — Google has announced that it will erect a significant barrier on Feb. 13 to hinder hackers trying to infect Gmail users with ransomware. From that date, the company will prevent users from receiving JavaScript files as attachments in any emails sent to them, providing a warning message instead. This follows a spate of ransomware infections that have been caused by victims unwittingly executing JavaScript files by clicking on them, in many cases believing them to be simple text files. When clicked, JavaScript files with a .js extension are automatically executed on a PC by the Windows Scripting Host built into Windows. They can then download malicious code, such as the infamous Crytpowall or Locky ransomware programs.

Google already blocks over 30 types of attachments, including executable files with .exe, .com, and .bat file extensions, including compressed files and files contained in archives (such as .zip files). It also blocks documents with malicious macros, archives whose listed file content is password protected, and archives whose content includes a password-protected archive. The company notes that users such as developers who need to send JavaScript files to other people can use Google Drive, Google Cloud Storage, or other storage solutions to share and send the files.

Image: © Alexey Boldin - Shutterstock.com
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