Feeds

Fake cop Trojan 'detects offensive materials' on PCs, demands money

Crooks exploit those embarrassing files we all have

High performance access to file storage

Security firms are warning about a rash of police-themed ransomware attacks.

The Reveton Trojan warns victims that illegal content has supposedly been detected on infected machines, displaying a message supposedly from local police agencies demanding payment to unlock machines.

To unlock an infected machine, marks are invited to purchase a Paysafecard and pay €100 to obtain an unlock code. But in reality users need not hand over any dosh to regain control of their PCs. Control of infected machines can be established by following a few simple steps, as outlined in a blog post by F-Secure here. Similar recovery instructions from Microsoft can be found here.

Cybercrooks are obviously hoping that victims will be panicked into complying with their demands without seeking external help.

"Even when somebody is savvy enough to recognise the message is a fake, the malware's accusations of offensive materials having been discovered on the user's hard drive creates a chilling effect, which has likely prevented some folks from seeking outside help," the Finnish security firm notes.

Trend Micro reckons some of the people peddling the Reveton Trojan were also involved in the high-profile DNSChanger Trojan scam, the target of a successful Microsoft takedown operation last November.

"The same people peddling this Trojan are also heavily involved in other malware and are very invested in this business," writes David Sancho, a senior threat researcher at Trend Micro. "For instance, we have found that they were affiliates of the DNSChanger Trojan program called Nelicash that Rove Digital was sponsoring for a few years.

"The main persons behind Rove Digital were arrested on November 8 2011 after a two year investigation by the FBI, the NASA Office of the Inspector General and Estonian police in collaboration with Trend Micro and other industry partners. So we might have found an important clue who is behind the police Trojan." ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
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
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
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
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
Bad PUPPY: Undead Windows XP deposits fresh scamware on lawn
Installing random interwebs shiz will bork your zombie box
Experian subsidiary faces MEGA-PROBE for 'selling consumer data to fraudster'
US attorneys general roll up sleeves, snap on gloves
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
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.
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.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.