Latest 'ransomware' attacks are scarily sophisticated2012.08.30 10:09 by Daniela
Keywords: ransomware, malware, security
In an alert published last week, the FBI said that The Internet Crime Complaint Center — a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center — was "getting inundated with complaints" from consumers targeted or victimized by the scam, which uses drive-by downloads to hijack host machines. The downloaded malware displays a threatening message (see image to the right) and blocks the user from doing anything else unless he pays the fine or finds a way to remove the program.
An example for such ransomware is the Reveton Trojan that has become very popular in recent months. It instantly locks the infected computer and displays a message on the screen that looks like it's from the FBI. The message says the user infringed federal law by downloading child pornography or illegally using or distributing copyrighted music or video. In order to unlock the computer, the user has to pay a "fine" via a prepaid money card, online payment service or wire transfer.
Variants of this malware are infecting computers in Europe and they are devilishly sophisticated. They encrypt all the files on the hard drive. This prevents the owner from accessing them until the ransom is paid to get the decryption key.
The Internet Crime Complaint Center advises victims of a ransomware extortion attempt not to pay any money or provide any personal information. Instead, they should use some up-to-date antivirus software and have to regularly back up their data.
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