bill-swift - April 13, 2012
Ransomware is a form of malware that takes your computer hostage. It works by restricting access to the computers it infects, and can only be removed once the user pays a ransom amount to the malware's creator.
On a related note, security researchers from TrendMicro, F-Secure and Dr. Web have reported that two new ransomware variants are currently circulating on the web.
One of the new variants is comparable to a previous release that infects the computer's the Master Boot Record (MBR). This prevents the operating system from booting up and instead restarts the PC once its executed. A ransom message requesting payment for the unlock code is then displayed on the screen.
F-Secure and Dr. Web were also able to intercept another identical ransomware variant. Upon execution, the files on the computer are encrypted by adding a .EnCiPhErEd file extension. Users are then given five attempts to enter the unlock code before the malware will delete itself and leave the files on the PC encrypted.
Attention! All your files are encrypted! You are using unlicensed programms! To restore your files and access them, send code Ukrash or Paysafecard nominal value of EUR 50 to the email email@example.com. You have 5 attempts to enter the code. If you exceed this of all data irretrievably spoiled. Be careful when you enter teh code!
-- Ransomware ransom text
Ransomware is spread through the same channels as most computer viruses, so don't click any links or download any files that seem shady or aren't verified.
Article by Hazel Chua
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