Feeds

Online attack holds files to ransom

Rochdale nurse hit by ransomware

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Manchester Police are investigating the case of a woman whose computer files were moved into a password-protected file she could not get into.

The only file she could access contained instructions on getting her files back. Helen Barrow, a student nurse, was told to buy drugs from an online store and in exchange would be sent the password to get her files back. The files included family photographs and work for her nursing degree.

The cheeky filenappers even suggested she sell the drugs on if she didn't want to keep them. Similar cases have been seen in the US, but Ms Barrow is believed to be the first victim of this kind of crime in the UK.

Peter Sommer, security expert and expert witness, told the Reg: "I think this is the first time we've seen this in the UK and I suspect a lot of people will get caught out. The chances of a successful investigation are virtually nil because it would require a lot of international cooperation."

Sommer added that the vulnerability itself was well-known and can be avoided by keeping virus signatures up-to-date.

The attack uses the Arhiveus virus to infect the computer before moving the files.

Ms Barrow contacted Greater Manchester Police and a local computer expert helped fix her machine and recover most of the files. Greater Manchester Police could not comment by press time.

A GMP spokesman said: "GMP's High Tech Crime Unit is aware of this new type of crime, and that incidents of this kind could increase in future.

"The role of the unit is forensic computing. We examine seized computers and extract evidence from them. The work is very specialised, with an average investigation lasting two to three weeks or more. The unit was established in 1995 and is now the second biggest in the country. The unit is made up of a mix of civilian police staff and police officers."

More details from the Manchester Evening News here.

In other virus news, Panda is warning users about Trojan DigiKeyGen which claims to offer free access codes for porn sites. In fact, it installs several pieces of crapware and demands $50 to remove them.

More details here. ®

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

More from The Register

next story
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
Four fake Google haxbots hit YOUR WEBSITE every day
Goog the perfect ruse to slip into SEO orfice
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.