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First Irish-speaking virus holds bloke's computer to ransom

Póg mo thóin!

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Crooks have created what's reckoned to be the first computer virus featuring the Irish language.

The malware – dubbed Gaeilge – is a strain of ransomware that locks up an infected computer and attempts to extort €100 from the user for an unlock code. The demand for cash reportedly appeared in poorly written Gaelic, and the software nastie was spotted on a computer in County Donegal, Ireland.

The victim wisely took his compromised machine for repairs rather than handing over money to the crooks. The virus claimed the lock-down was a result of the Irish government detecting that the user had accessed online pornography.

Technician Brian McGarvey of Techie2u computer repairs told The Irish Times that it was the first time he'd come across a virus written in the Irish language during his 12 years of experience in the job.

"It’s quite a sophisticated and convincing scam," he said. "To someone who didn’t have good Irish it looks very legitimate. I suspect they have used some kind of translation transfer and only about 60 per cent of the virus makes sense in Irish. It has a logo which features an Irish flag and it looks quite official." ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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