Feeds

Russian ransomware blocks net access

New social engineering wheeze appears in east

Website security in corporate America

Miscreants have developed a ransomware package that blocks internet access in a bid to force infected users into paying up by sending a text message to a premium rate SMS number, lining the pocket of cybercrooks in the process.

The malware comes bundled in a package called uFast Download Manager and targets potential marks in Russia. Users of infected machines are told (via a Russian language message) that they need to send a text message in order to obtain an activation code for the product, which (ironically) poses as a software package designed to increase download speeds. Victims are told that internet access has been blocked in the meantime because of supposed violations of a licensing agreement.

The ploy is a variant on previous ransomware packages that encrypt and block access to document files. One strain of ransomware detected in January 2008 locks up Windows machines, seeking payment via SMS. That threat wasn't specific to Russia and didn't affect a net connection as such but is otherwise very similar to the latest attack.

CA, which detects the threat as RansomSMS-AH, explains how the malware works in greater depth in a blog posting featuring screenshots culled from infected machines here. The anti-virus vendor has developed an activation code generator that allows victims to get online again - providing they can download the utility through an uninfected machine first, of course. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Critical Adobe Reader and Acrobat patches FINALLY make it out
Eight vulns healed, including XSS and DoS paths
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Blood-crazed Microsoft axes Trustworthy Computing Group
Security be not a dirty word, me Satya. But crevice, bigod...
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Freenode IRC users told to change passwords after securo-breach
Miscreants probably got in, you guys know the drill by now
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.