‘Ransomware’ Locks Computers, Demands Payment

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Offline Bugbatter

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‘Ransomware’ Locks Computers, Demands Payment
« on: August 11, 2012, 12:31:49 PM »
There is a new “drive-by” virus on the Internet, and it often carries a fake message—and fine—purportedly from the FBI.

“We’re getting inundated with complaints,” said Donna Gregory of the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), referring to the virus known as Reveton ransomware, which is designed to extort money from its victims.

Reveton is described as drive-by malware because unlike many viruses—which activate when users open a file or attachment—this one can install itself when users simply click on a compromised website. Once infected, the victim’s computer immediately locks, and the monitor displays a screen stating there has been a violation of federal law.

The bogus message goes on to say that the user’s Internet address was identified by the FBI or the Department of Justice’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section as having been associated with child pornography sites or other illegal online activity. To unlock their machines, users are required to pay a fine using a prepaid money card service.

Continued here:
http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2012/august/new-internet-scam/new-internet-scam

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Offline Bear

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Re: ‘Ransomware’ Locks Computers, Demands Payment
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2012, 01:56:50 PM »
Neal Stephenson in his cyberpunk book Reamde (a takeoff on readme) predicted this about a year ago. (Good book by the way)
Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.
- Napoleon Bonaparte

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Offline 1972vet

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Re: ‘Ransomware’ Locks Computers, Demands Payment
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2012, 10:58:23 PM »
I also recall reading about something similar to this some time ago. The concept isn't so new. I've seen other variations of this recently wherein a user had been informed that the F.B.I. is watching them on their web cam and were found to have been in violation of some federal law. As a result of this alleged violation, that particular variant was asking users to send $100 (or some other dollar amount) to satisfy the fine. And by the way, I believe the mbam utility takes care of that nicely.

But this new variation of that theme is much different. It uses the Citadel malware platform, which means the victim's computer is not only compromised, but can also be used by the malware author, in his/her attempt to benefit from online banking and credit card fraud.

Victims are encourage to file a complaint...
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Offline Mister2

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Re: ‘Ransomware’ Locks Computers, Demands Payment
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2012, 01:25:21 AM »
I know of 2 people locally (in the UK) who have received similar messages on their TV - Virginmedia cable.  A screen appeared informing them they had been caught viewing illegal pornography and 'requesting' a fee of around Ł700 to clear the message and unlock the TV.  After contacting the police they got a number to call at Virgin to remove the message.

I didn't realise there was a way to hack a TV set via cable, though I suppose considering the way everything is connected nowadays, I shouldn't be surprised.
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Offline 1972vet

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Re: ‘Ransomware’ Locks Computers, Demands Payment
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2012, 02:10:20 AM »
...I didn't realise there was a way to hack a TV set via cable, though I suppose considering the way everything is connected nowadays, I shouldn't be surprised.
Anything "Windows" can be hacked. There's an interesting topic Here...on Slashdot. It seems not really to be the TV per se, but the computer to which it is connected. Which brings to mind the millions of Internet connected phones that can also be targeted. Although, since the Internet connected T.V.'s are stationary, their appeal would be greater than the mobile devices. I'm sure there are countless stories about this out there somewhere.
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