Feeds

Suspected fake internet cop trio collared by real cops

Ransomware demanded on-the-spot £100 fines from victims

3 Big data security analytics techniques

UK cops have arrested three people in Staffordshire on suspicion of running a ransomware scam that fooled victims into paying £100 fines.

A 34-year-old man and a 30-year-old woman from Stoke-on-Trent were cuffed on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud, money laundering and possession of items for use in fraud. A 26-year-old man from Stoke-on-Trent was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud. All three were taken in for questioning at a Staffordshire police station.

Ransomware malware usually works by preventing an infected computer from starting up or encrypts the PC's documents. Punters have to pay a non-trivial amount to the fraudster who planted the malware to regain control of their machine and files.

In this case, it's alleged the ransomware was used to halt the computer and display a bogus warning from the Metropolitan Police Service accusing the user of committing offences online. The "splash" screen for the software would claim the plod had monitored the victim's activities on the internet. The mark would then have to pay a penalty of £100 to unlock the machine.

In reality, police in the UK don't levy on-the-spot fines via downloaded software, but that hasn't stopped miscreants from developing strains of ransomware that try to pull off this type of con. A screenshot of a typical notice generated by bogus police ransomware can be found in this write-up of the Reveton Trojan by Trend Micro .

Ransomware scams have become increasingly prevalent in recent months, and that may have sparked this latest investigation by officers from the Met's Police Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU).

PCeU detectives based in London and the outfit's North West hub, along with officers from Staffordshire Police, searched three addresses on 11 December before arresting the trio.

In a statement, Detective Inspector Jason Tunn, from the PCeU, said: "The arrests show we are determined to combat this type of crime. I remind all computer users that police do not use such a method to impose or enforce fines, so if you are confronted by such a page do not enter any of your details." ®

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
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
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.