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BEWARE – A New Kind of Ransom Ware

Monday, November 04, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: John Parkinson - Region 18 President
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Editor's note: The following article is copied, with permission, from the October 2013 Region 18 Newsletter: http://r18communigram.com/. The author is John Parkinson, Region 18 President.

While I was driving to the Akron Canton 60th Anniversary meeting, I was listening to Leo Laporte’s "This Week in Tech” Episode 429. At the 30 minute mark (+/-) Leo played a short audio clip of an interview with Steve Gibson of Gibson Research Corp.

They talked about a new form of ransom ware called CryptoLocker. This is a much nastier version of ransom ware as it encrypts ALL of the files on a computer. The bad news is that the ransom ware seeks connected hard drives, USB drives, NAS devices AND shared folders on other computers.

The ransom ware is sent as an email with a link to a bank, PayPal account or even an attached PDF file. All of the links launch an exe file that install the program and encrypts the data. A pop up then displays a message that states that the files have been encrypted and the user has 72 hours to pay $300 or euros or even BitCoins to get a private key to restore all of the files to their original condition.

 
 

If the user ignores the warning and the 72 hours expire, the private key is destroyed and can not be regenerated. BAD NEWS!

According to Steve Gibson, the encryption is so complicated that experts are unable to de-crypt files.

So, now more than ever before, be careful with email attachments.

The following article was found at ARS technica: http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/10/youre-infected-if-you-want-to-see-your-data-again-pay-us-300-in-bitcoins/


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