Feeds

Trojan attack takes files hostage

Protection money

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Virus writers have taken to extortion with malicious code that can hold documents on infected PCs hostage. The attack attempts to extort money from victims by encoding files on their PCs using a Trojan horse before requesting payment for a decoder tool.

The Trojan downloader (download-aag AKA Pgpcoder) exploits a well-known Internet Explorer vulnerability (MS04-023) to download hostile code onto vulnerable Windows boxes. It then searches for files with various extensions and encodes them. The original documents are deleted and the newly encoded files become unreadable. The malware also drops a message onto the system with instructions on how to buy the tool needed to decode the files, demanding payment of $200 from victims if they ever want to see their documents again.

The cyber extortion attack, first identified by net security firm Websense, represents a pernicious development in hacker tactics but with few documented cases there's no need to panic. Furthermore the attack relies on the download of code from a site which has since been taken offline. Nonetheless users would be wise to protect their systems and back up their data as a precaution against this type of attack. ®

Related stories

Online extortion works
Net extortionists in child porn threat
Feds bust DDoS 'Mafia'
Extradition ruled out in bookie extortion case
New Bagle worm drops in and downloads
UK police issue 'vicious' Trojan alert

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Google recommends pronounceable passwords
Super Chrome goes into battle with Mr Mxyzptlk
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
Reddit wipes clean leaked celeb nudie pics, tells users to zip it
Now we've had all THAT TRAFFIC, we 'deplore' this theft
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
TorrentLocker unpicked: Crypto coding shocker defeats extortionists
Lousy XOR opens door into which victims can shove a foot
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.