JEEPTALK.net: 'Ransomware' - JEEPTALK.net

Jump to content

Page 1 of 1

'Ransomware' WARNING

#1 User is offline   JeepinIan 

  • Major General
  • View gallery
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 3,384
  • Joined: 01-May 03
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Miami, Fl USA

Posted 26 April 2013 - 07:26 AM

Have you seen this?

Quote


:click:

By Bob Sullivan, Columnist, NBC News
Computer users around the globe are being hit by a new kind of virus that freezes their computer and accuses them of committing heinous crimes, like distributing child porn. The threats sound real enough that victims are coughing up $200 to pay a "fine," and virus writer gangs are netting millions, security firms say.

The message that flashes across infected computer screens sounds downright scary:

"You have been viewing or distributing child porn ... violating article 202 of the Criminal Code of the United States of America," says one version, allegedly sent by the FBI. A virus victim supplied the message to NBC News.

In each case, the accusation appears on a pop-up screen while the virus simultaneously disables the computer. The message often shows the user's IP address and city, and sometimes, recent websites visited by the victim. The most alarming version activates the victim’s webcam, takes his or her picture, and displays it on the warning.

"They are saying, 'we know who you are, where you are, and what you were doing,'" said John Harrison, a security researcher with Symantec. "They attempt to scare the heck out of you."

The victim is then offered an option: pay a fine within 72 hours, and the charges will be dropped, while the computer will be restored.

The malicious software is so cleverly crafted that it comes with 30 to 40 versions packed inside. It displays in the appropriate language for victims — English, Spanish, Russian, etc. — and invokes the local federal authorities. A U.S. victim might get a notice from the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center, while a Canadian victim gets one from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

The message is fake, of course — and even those who pay the "fine" still have a broken computer. But victims worldwide are falling for it. Harrison said for one version he tracked, roughly 3 percent of victims actually paid up. The criminals behind that virus netted $5 million, Symantec estimates.

With results like that, other virus gangs have been quick to copy the profitable formula. Symantec believes that gangs who spent the past couple of years making money tricking consumers into paying for fake antivirus software have all taken up the fake criminal charges and fine scam.

"So many of these folks have jumped on the bandwagon," Harrison said. "They have really transitioned into this."

The general technique is called ransomware — a virus disables the computer, allegedly holding it hostage until a ransom is paid — and it's not new. But the clever combination of an abrupt interruption, the localization trick, and the severity of the accusation catches many victims unaware, and they let their guard down enough to pay the fine.

There are no hard numbers on the frequency of ransomware, but there's plenty of anecdotal evidence it's on the rise. In February, Europol busted a multi-national crime ring involving a Russian programmer arrested in the United Arab Emirates, and 10 others arrested in Madrid, Spain. There were victims across 30 countries. Authorities in Spain said 700,000 Spaniards had contacted the government asking for help after becoming infected.

The agency issued another warning about the scam on April 11.

“Fraudsters are deploying extortion techniques using Europol's identity and logo to con EU citizens out of money,” the warning says. “Variations of this con, using the identities of other international and European agencies, are also in circulation.”

It's possible the problem is even worse than security firms realize, because many victims may not be reporting the infection, Harrison said.

"If you were at work and there was a message on your screen that said you were viewing child porn, would you run to get your IT department?" he said.

Most victims pick up the virus by visiting booby-trapped web pages that surreptitiously install software on victims' machines through "drive-by” download, or by downloading free software from disreputable sites. In fact, some variations of the virus accuse victims of violating copyright law, knowing that is likely true.

Victims shouldn't pay the fine, Harrison said, but they should know that various software tools — including free tools available at Symantec — can rid their machines of the virus.


Ian Stewart

If you don't fight for the trails, there won't be any trails to fight for.

What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.
Zig Ziglar

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling that thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself." ....

John Stuart Mill

#2 User is offline   Jim B 

  • Commander
  • Group: GlobalMod
  • Posts: 8,689
  • Joined: 30-April 03
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Davie, FL

Posted 26 April 2013 - 09:31 AM

First time I hear of this. I guess that's because I stay away from porn. :grin: :roll:
Posted Image Posted Image
El Niño
Experience is defined as something you get, after you need it.
Give the world the best you have. The best will come back to you...

There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.
"Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour." 9th Commandment.
"Speak not Evil of the absent for it is unjust." George Washington, Rule 89 of Civility and Decent Behavior.
Wheeling Gallery ----- E-Mail
Life Member: South Florida Jeep Club

Share this topic:


Page 1 of 1


Fast Reply

  
Miami Jeep Fort Lauderdale Jeep Dealer