Feeds

New trojan masquerades as Microsoft enforcement-ware

Threatens to destroy everything and sue the remains

3 Big data security analytics techniques

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. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
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
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.