Feeds

Ransomware Trojan locks up infected PCs

UK regulator probes pay-by-phone extortion

Security for virtualized datacentres

A new strain of "Ransomware" that attempts to coerce victims into paying $35 to unlock their Windows PC, is doing the rounds.

The scam uses a variety of premium rate numbers in different countries, and UK regulator PhonePayPlus is investigating the suspected misuse of a type of premium rate line normally used for sex lines in the UK.

The Delf-CTK Trojan poses as a "Browser Security and Anti-adware" security application whose license has expired. Windows machines infected by the malware are confronted by a full-screen message that poses as a Windows error. Ironically, but unsurprisingly, the malware typically uses Windows exploits to infect vulnerable machines.

Prospective marks are invited to call a country-specific premium rate number and enter a PIN to obtain a license code. The US premium rate number belongs to "passwordtwoenter.com", a payment processing firm used by hardcore porn sites, according to anti-spyware firm Sunbelt Software, which was the first to warn of the ruse. Passwordtwoenter.com is registered to Global Voice SA, a firm based in the Indian Ocean island state of the Seychelles.

If the US number doesn't work, prospective marks are invited to call alternate numbers including a satellite telephone number and another in the West African nation of Cameroon, Computerworld adds. UK and French premium numbers also feature in the scam.

The 0909 number British marks are invited to call is reserved for adult premium rate lines, premium rate regulator PhonePayPlus told El Reg. PhonePayPlus agreed to investigate the issue, after we told them about the scam. A spokesman added that he wasn't aware of previous UK cases where malware has been linked to attempts to prompt users into phoning premium rate lines.

Ransomware packages (which began appearing early in 2006) typically use malicious code to gain control of user files, encrypt them, and threaten users that they won't see these files again unless they hand over a cash "ransom" to hackers.

The Delf-ctk Trojan is more subtle than this, the demands are less transparently hostile, and a different (more advanced) payment method is used. Users infected by the malware are locked out of their whole system by malware that takes over their desktop - not just preventing them from opening particular files - so in some ways the Delf-CTK Trojan is nastier than earlier ransomware strains such as Gpcode. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code
It's been fixed, but hordes won't have applied the upgrade
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.