3 New Ransomware Scams


Cyber mobsters based in Eastern Europe – have launched 3 new ransomware scams.–PC Pitstop

3 New Ransomware Scams

By Stu Sjouwerman, for KnowBe4.com Security Awareness Training

Cybercrime has not given up on ransomware just yet. In fact, it’s expanding as different Eastern European mafias are competing with each other for market share in this segment. Here are three campaigns that are active at the moment:

1)Owners of Android devices need to pay attention. IT Security company Check Point alerted about a new Simplocker variant, which locked tens of thousands of Android phones and tablets. Victims are told to pay between 200 and 500 dollars to get access to their files. The infection is relatively easy to prevent, as it’s only spread through unofficial download sites (meaning not Google Play) and mis-identify themselves as “Flash Player”.

In case the user installs the app, they get a spoofed alert purportedly from the NSA that they need to pay a fine within 48 hours. If not paid, the fine doubles. End-users are not able to remove the app easily, and even then the files are encrypted. Check Point’s research showed that around 10% of the users did pay the ransom, which is much higher than other strains.

Conclusion: Warn your users, friends and family to ONLY download apps from the Google Play store, and even those are sometimes malicious so be very careful.

2)MOORE, Oklahoma’s school district was hit with ransomware on their public Windows drive. “Once the virus was located the director of technology shut down every server,” said Dustin Horstkoetter, Moore Public Schools. Many teachers are now forced to redo weeks of lesson plans. Experts say unfortunately this type of malware is becoming more prominent and profitable. “They are not really after to steal your data. They are there to make revenue,” said Mark Gower, Oklahoma’s chief information security officer.

End-users should be stepped through effective security awareness training to prevent infections like this.

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10 thoughts on “3 New Ransomware Scams

  1. Jerry Pait Is it that these ransomware scam artists have learned how to stay undercover while collecting cash through credit cards, or is it that these people are down the list for investigation and then there might be the need for at least a year's investigation for whatever reason.

  2. I use firefox and somehow I down loaded sonething that keeps poping up ads as well as warnings about my system offering technical assistance. I actually called them and asked how I get you out of my computer. the person said go the programs and delet it. Can't find the program on my list. This does not happen on other brousers

    • @William Maccari: go to thwe list of programs, find the date if the suspected download, and see if that program has a name that is somewhat quirly…that’s probably the culprit—in many cases, it won’t list the date or source, just look at those programs both before and after the suspected date to verify

  3. The government of the U.S.A. should shut down the W.W.W. and reopen it to only people in the U.S.A. then “Big Brother” could find the people that are sending out all types of Viruses and malware, but that’s too dam easy and the Anti-Virus makers would go out of business! so they wouldn’t get any kick-backs!

  4. too bad for us the reason why the laws are very hard and in some cases impossible to enforce is because the people using the virus to demand money are from countrys where the usa does not have a extradition treaty so to get the people who are doing this in some case is not going to happen that is why this kind of virus is very hard or impossible to fully stop this kind of virus attack the people doing this know that nothing will happen to them.

  5. Any ‘fake ransomware’ out there?
    About 2 weeks ago on Facebook, I clicked inside a post on a ‘read more’ link to read the rest of the text and got a red popup window with a woman speaking some trash about paying some money yada yada yada. kept trying to close the window but it kept reopening. So I shut the computer off. Now everything seems to be working…..do you think I’ve been had? The lady’s voice warned of not using the computer for any online purchasing or banking until I paid up. …That seemed kind of weird; like they only knew how to thru out an unloaded threat. Don’t use this box for banking, but sometimes do for shopping.

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