Friday, January 29, 2010

Ransomware and Rogueware: Holding your computer hostage


Here’s another scary story from “The Red Tape Chronicles”, by Bob Sullivan and Panda Labs, “Can your computer be held hostage?: Give me your money, or your computer gets it,” link on MSNBC here.

The latest fad is rather brazen: ransomware. Rather than just phishing attacks and fake anti-virus products, now criminals try to infect machines with programs that disable the machine or encrypt all files until a “ransom” is paid. This is even more aggressive than a category that the FBI calls “rogueware”

F-secure has a report (link “Ransomware: Buy Back Your Own Files”, (web URL)link) on a particular virus called Trojan:W32/DatCrypt which make the user believe that certain common files (like Word documents) have been corrupted. It will invited the user to download and install “recommended file repair software”.

Earlier this month I had an encounter with “FakeAvJs” which Webroot was able to quarantine immediately (see Jan 6).

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