Feeds

Suspected fake internet cop trio collared by real cops

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

Remote control for virtualized desktops

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." ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?