Growing threat of ransomware

By Derek Sooman on May 1, 2006, 5:33 AM
Have you heard of ransomware yet? This is where your machine gets infected with a Trojan that then threatens to delete files unless you pay up some cash. Apparently, it is a growing concern to security professionals.

A new Trojan that does just this has been dubbed Ransom-A by antivirus company Sophos. This carries a nasty message that demands a $10.99 payment, or it will delete one file every 30 minutes. Payment is demanded via the Western Union money transfer service. The Trojan claims that paying up will release a disarming code that can be used to neutralise the threat, but as to whether this code actually works, or if you even get it, remains a mystery.

"This Trojan horse is designed to take your data hostage and tries to scare users into paying up quickly by threatening to wipe files one-by-one," Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, said in the statement.

User Comments: 6

Got something to say? Post a comment
DragonMaster said:
Bad, bad, bad...Simple advices that should prevent you to get it :-1 Don't use Internet Explorer (Or anything with ActiveX)-2 Test if you're really firewalled, and configure it properly (There's a test at [url][/url]-3 Don't open every e-mails and all their attachments(Use a virus scanner that scans them)-4 Use a real anti-virus, not Norton-5 Don't go on every sites and download everything.-6 Don't use unsafe things like Limewire, kazaa, etc. -7 Use an anti-spyware-8 Don't install every toolbars you can-9 Don't click on every attachments in your Instant Messenger-10 Don't click every ads-11 Update your OS, Anti-virus, Anti-spyware, firewall, browser, IM software, router firmware. -12 if you have a router make sure everything is secure.-13 Protect your wireless network if you have one.9MAC filter, WEP, etc.) Disable access to the router setup from wireless.
atk spade said:
very nice list!
DragonMaster said:
[quote]very nice list![/quote]But some points are still too complicated for newbies...I already ran Win98 SE for years with just a firewall (No anti-spyware and anti-virus) and not clicking on everything, and I never got anything (I looked about 2-3 times if there was something with HouseCall and Spybot S&D)In fact, a lot of security measures can be forgotten, as long as you use a thing some persons barely know how to use called BRAIN when using the Internet. Then, you only have to keep the security measures that, even if browsing safely, can cause problems. (Firewall, wireless security...) If you don't have these, even a computer that is left alone could get viruses.
Julio said:
Obviously spam and malware apps take advantage of the lack of knowledge of the average user in certain areas.But you shouldn't blaming it all on people. Us, more educated PC users can keep up more easily with all the changes involved in OS platforms and security risks, but that does not hold true for a majority of users who don't see computers as a hobby but as a tool to get something done.As for this story, the concept of ransomware is really dangerous but still gives more of an opening to track those malicious users.
nimo333 said:
You want a detailed way of protecting your pc, My brother and I created a thread for that stuff: [url][/url
Including stuff about No-Script that I've been using for several months which basically I haven't seen a trojan warning that tries to bypass Antivirus onto my PC ever since. Because now it's blocked by the browser itself by No-Script extension, therefore it can never reach the anti-virus except if I Deliberately allow the bad sites to be uploaded onto my browser.[Edited by nimo333 on 2006-05-01 20:59:11]
nathanskywalker said:
wow, nic tips everyone, know alot of people who actually don't know this....surprises me, but i guess it's true......heh, somehow "ransomware", the entire idea, just plain cracks me up. Not that it doesn't just seems funny to me.
Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.