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04 July 2012, 17:23

Ransomware threatens to frame user and inform police

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Zoom The ransomware threatens to send police a special password to decrypt spam software and child pornography files on a victim's system
Source: Sophos
As well as encrypting files on a victim's computer, a new strain of ransomware discovered by security specialist Sophos threatens to contact the police about certain types of files if the system's owner doesn't pay a ransom of €3,000. As usual with this type of malware, when trying to access data that has supposedly been encrypted, users are presented with a message that instructs them to send a unique ID number to an email address – in this case a Gmail or Live address – to obtain a password to unlock their files once they have paid the ransom.

However, according to Sophos's Graham Cluley, the Troj/Ransom-HC trojan takes things one step further by advising users that if they don't pay the ransom within 96 hours, the criminals will send a report to the police with a "special password" that will unlock files, said to contain spamming software and child pornography, on the system.

While this threat, written in broken English, is likely to be an empty one, the criminals hope that it will scare users into paying them quickly. Cluley says that, as always, users are advised not to pay the ransom, noting that doing so could "simply raise their ransom demands even higher once they discover you are prepared to pay up."


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