Feeds

Ransomware Trojan locks up infected PCs

UK regulator probes pay-by-phone extortion

SANS - Survey on application security programs

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. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.