Feeds

New trojan masquerades as Microsoft enforcement-ware

Threatens to destroy everything and sue the remains

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Malware-makers have created a strain of ransomware Trojan which masquerades as a Microsoft utility.

The Ransom-AN Trojan claims that a user's Windows machine is running an unlicensed copy of Windows and threatens to cripple the victim's computer unless marks pay €100 to obtain an unlock code, which can be purchased via credit card via a scam website. The malware attempts to spook intended victims with entirely bogus claims that a criminal prosecution will be launched unless payment is received within 48 hours. In addition, the Trojan says that all data and applications on targeted systems will be "permanently lost".

The malware, which targets German-speaking users (as illustrated by a screenshot here), is being distributed via spam and P2P downloads. Panda Software, the Spanish net security firm which detected the threat, warned that the Trojan is difficult to remove manually.

"These types of Trojans are very dangerous because once they infect the computer it is extremely difficult to remove them manually, forcing users to pay the ransom or reformat their devices," said Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs. "In addition, because Ransom.AN appears to come from Microsoft and threatens actions from authorities, many users believe what the Trojan says and make the payment out of fear."

More details on Ransom-AN, including an unlock code, useful in cases where users are unlucky enough to become infected, can be found in a blog post by Panda here.

Previous ransomware strains have encrypted files in a bid to force users into paying for getting infected. The tactics used by Ransom-AN Trojan are a more aggressive extension of the basic scam, using threats of prosecution and outwardly convincing screenshots supposedly from Microsoft to peddle the ruse. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
One HUNDRED FAMOUS LADIES exposed NUDE online
Celebrity women victimised as Apple iCloud accounts reportedly popped
Rubbish WPS config sees WiFi router keys popped in seconds
Another day, another way in to your home router
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
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
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.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.