Feeds

Ransomware Trojan locks up infected PCs

UK regulator probes pay-by-phone extortion

The essential guide to IT transformation

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. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen
I scream, you scream, we all scream 'DATA BREACH'!
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
Oz fed police in PDF redaction SNAFU
Give us your metadata, we'll publish your data
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
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.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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?