According to the Reuters global news wire, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has reached out to cyber security experts over the long Easter weekend for help in fighting a new strain of ransomware.
The strain is supposedly called MSIL/Samas.A, which encrypts the victim's files and then demands payment in the form of bitcoins or various international bank transfers before the data is unlocked.
The FBI sent out a notice over their FBI Liaison Alert System (FLASH) on Saturday Australian time. The latest strain tries to encrypt data over entire networks rather than individual computers, making it vastly more dangerous than existing ransomware.
It comes after the largest healthcare provider in Washington D.C. and Maryland, MedStar Health, was forced to take down "all system interfaces" following a ransomware attack. "The organisation has moved to back-up systems and] paper transactions where necessary," MedStar's statement read, as reported by CSO Online.
The latest report from the FBI about MSIL/Samas.A said that a software suite called JexBoss was being used to automatically find vulnerable systems, which could then be used to remotely install ransomware across the compromised network.