Items tagged with Ransomware

Police are supposed to catch criminals; not become the victims of their antics. However, one Texas police department is finding out the hard way that ransomware is a big problem, as one of its employees fell for one of the oldest tricks in the [computer hackers’] playbook. According to a local news report, someone from within the department clicked on an email that featured a cloned address, thinking that it originated from someone within the department. However, all it did was open up the department’s computer network to a ransomware attack. Once the tainted email was accessed, malware weaved its way through the department network, encrypting files in the process. Once the malware did its dirty... Read more...
Be careful before downloading an app on your LG Smart TV. One user recently reported that their LG Smart TV had been infected by Cyber.Police ransomware, also known as FLocker, Frantic Locker, or Dogspectus. The infected television is one of the last LG Smart TV’s to use Google TV, a project that was discontinued in 2014. Software engineer Darren Cauthon revealed that his television was infected by the ransomware after his relatives had downloaded an app to watch a movie on December 25th. According to Cauthon, “They [the relatives] said they downloaded an app to watch a movie. Halfway thru movie, tv froze.” It is unclear whether Cauthon’s relatives downloaded the app from the Play Store or a... Read more...
Getting hit with ransomware, a form of malware that encrypts your files and holds them hostage until you pay the hacker responsible to decrypt them, is no laughing matter, at least if you're the victim. But for cyber crooks becoming ever more brazen, the temptation to taunt victims and security researchers is sometimes too much. That's been the case with the person responsible for the DXXD ransomware. DXXD is a nasty bit of code that's been going after servers for the past couple of weeks. Luckily there are good guys out there that act as security super heroes. One of them is Michael Gillespie, a dude who loves cats and also happens to be very good at analyzing ransomware. He often provides free... Read more...
We’ve seen some rather nasty ransomware making the rounds over the past few months, but a new strain is wreaking havoc on computers around the globe. Brazilian firm Morphus Labs first discovered the Windows-based ransomware, which has been given the name Mamba. So far, Mamba has been found on computers located in Brazil, India and even the United States. According to Morphus Labs researcher Renato Marinho, Mamba has been spreading as a result of people being tricked into interacting with phishing emails. Once a user has been “hooked”, Mamba gets down to business by infecting the host machine, and then proceeds to overwrite the PC’s Master Boot Record (MBR). But whereas most ransomware will encrypt... Read more...
If you operate a Web server that runs on Linux, we're here to give you a bit of a prod in case you haven't updated it in a while. A piece of ransomware called FairWare is floating around, and as you'll soon see, its name is ironic as it's anything but "fair". Reports are coming in of users who have been struck with this awful type of malware, although it doesn't seem clear at this point exactly how the infection takes place. It's also not clear if this is some sort of automated attack -- one that simply scans the internet at large and infects where it can -- or if the attacks are focused. Either way, if you are hit with it, you are in for a bad day. Once infected, you'll notice that you no longer... Read more...
A security researcher for AVG has discovered a new piece of ransomware called Fantom that masquerades as a critical Windows update. Victims who fall for the ruse will see a Windows screen acting like it's installing the update, but what's really happening is that the user's documents and files are being encrypted in the background. Fantom is based on the open-source EDA2 ransomware project, and unfortunately there's no way to decrypt the files without the culprit's help. Plain and simple, you're in a bad spot if you happen to fall for this one. While savvy computer users might spot the ransomware as a malicious attempt to wreak havoc, it's easy to see how a less experienced user could be tripped... Read more...
Go ahead and cue up Cartman's "No kitty, that's a bad kitty!" soundbite, only this time it's not in reference to stealing those delicious Cheesy Poofs. McAfee's mobile malware research division found a sample of ransomware for Android that it's calling "ElGato," and once infected, it can steal a user's SMS messages, among wreaking other kinds of havoc. ElGato has botnet capabilities and a web-based control panel service, McAfee says. It's an ornery piece of software that reveals itself as a humorous image of a cat on infected devices. In addition to silently swiping potentially sensitive SMS messages, once infected a remote hacker can encrypt the target's files and lock out the rightful owner... Read more...
It's beginning to look like some rather sophisticated hackers have made their way into Apple's core and crippled iCloud security so severely that some iPhones have essentially been held hostage. A few iPhones here and there might not seem like a big deal, but ultimately, there could be a staggering 40 million iCloud accounts (approximately) at risk here. According to CSO Online, some iPhone users, dating back to February this year, have found their devices compromised, held hostage by Russian hackers. The attack is almost too simple. An iCloud account is broken into (with the help of leaked credentials), and the service's "Find My iPhone" feature is used to put the phone into Lost mode. From... Read more...
It’s been a rough week for Adobe and its Flash plugin. This week, Microsoft announced that it is hitting the pause button on unnecessary and excessive Flash content on webpages, and now we’re learning that Adobe had to scramble to patch up yet another zero-day exploit in Flash. This latest exploit is especially nasty as it uses a security hole found within Flash to allow nefarious parties to infiltrate Windows 10 machines and install ransomware. As we’ve seen by recent ransomware outbreaks at hospitals around the country, this is serious business. The exploit was initially discovered by Trend Micro researchers on March 31st, while fellow security researchers Proofpoint, Sophos and FireEye have... Read more...
Over the past few years, ransomware has become an ever growing threat to enterprise and personal users alike. If you’re unfamiliar with ransomware, it’s a piece of malware that infects a system, usually encrypts a user’s personal data – like photos, office documents, PDFs and the like – and then forces the user to pay a ransom for the decryption key.To date all of the known, fully-functional ransomware attacks have targeted systems running Microsoft Windows, but a brand new variant has hit the web targeting systems running Apple’s Mac OS X.An Apple MacBook Running OS XPalo Alto Networks discovered the ransomware a few days ago and posted a bulletin on its website. Claud Xiao and Jin Chen... Read more...
A medical center located in Hollywood, California, paid hackers 40 bitcoins worth nearly $17,000 in U.S. currency to decrypt its files that were being held ransom. The ransom amount is far less than the $3.6 million that was being thrown around when news of the security breach went public, but is no less disheartening that those responsible were able to pull something like this off. Things went sour for Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center when malware spread on its computer systems earlier this month. Known as ransomware, the malware encrypted critical files across the medical center's network, including medical records, forcing staff to turn off all systems to prevent it from spreading further.... Read more...
Could you go a full day without using your PC? It might not be all that difficult on a casual basis, but for workers at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, they've had the challenge of servicing patients without the aid of any computer systems for over a week due to a malware outbreak and subsequent ransom demand.A local computer consultant said the ransom is in the neighborhood of 9,000 Bitcoins, which is about $3.6 million in U.S. currency. The hackers responsible likely chose Bitcoin as their payment method of choice because the cryptocurrency is anonymous and difficult to trace, especially after they've been laundered.This is no harmless prank, and not just because of the amount of money... Read more...
It seems that it was just yesterday that someone had to know a thing or two about software and programming to wreak havoc on fine upstanding Internet citizens via malware incursion. Ah, the good old days. Nostalgia aside, though, one cannot help but feel rattled by the news that security researchers at McAfee have discovered new software with which the oh-so-nefarious out there can easily construct their own ransomware. And not only is such a product in the wild, but it is online software, too, accessible by anyone capable of navigating a keyboard and a TOR browser.  Dubbed Tox, the devil's tool raising the ruckus runs on TOR and is easy to work out and completely... Read more...
Thanks to antivirus software maker Kaspersky, you may not need to pony up to retrieve your files if your computer is infected with the hated CoinVault ransomware. The company announced that it has found a way to decrypt the files and is offering to help infected users for free. The big break came from a Dutch cybercrime police unit that was able to scavenge decryption keys from a server used by CoinVault. Kaspersky used the data to create a tool for decrypting locked files. The tool isn’t always successful, but if you’ve lost critical files to the malware, it’s worth a try. After all, the alternative is paying CoinVault for releasing your files.  CoinVault, which is can be triggered by clicking... Read more...
Sony was rocked by a massive ransomware attack in late November, and is still reeling from the effects. Most recently, Sony employees have been on the receiving end of threatening emails from the perpetrators of the hack: Guardians of Peace (#GOP). Now we’re beginning to learn a bit more about the hack courtesy of Mandiant, the cybersecurity firm brought in for digital forensics analysis. While the investigation is still ongoing, email correspondence from Mandiant founder Kevin Mandia and Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton has been provided to Variety. Lynton sent out an email to employees on Saturday discussing the attack, but couldn’t give much solace to the 3,800 employees that had their... Read more...
On November 24, Sony Pictures became the victim of a massive ransomware hack that resulted in the company shutting down its computer network. Since then, Sony Pictures has been investigating the possibility that it was North Korean hackers behind the attack, according to Variety.According to unnamed sources speaking to Variety, Sony has no evidence that the attack was carried out by an individual, or group, with ties to North Korea, but the company is looking into all possible sources. Speculation of the attackers’ origin are based on the fact that it occurred a month before Sony’s new movie, "The Interview” would be released in theaters. The movie, starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, is about... Read more...
It appears that Sony has become the victim of a massive ransomware hack which has resulted in the company shutting down. An unnamed source spoke to Business 2 Community claiming that the company shut down after its computers in New York and around the nation were infiltrated. The source, according to the website, is an ex-employee of Sony Pictures who has a friend that still works for the company. According to the source’s friend, allegedly, every computer in Sony’s New York Office, and every Sony Pictures’ office across the nation, bears an image from the hacker with the headline “Hacked By #GOP” which is then followed by a warning.  The hacker, or group, claims to have obtained corporate... Read more...
You know malware is a steadily growing problem, but if you aren’t tuned into the cyber security industry, you might not know just how fast the threat is exploding. Hackers are taking computers hostage, stealing credit card data at ever-increasing rates, and spammers are winning the email war. McAfee released a new report that documents trending malware problems and shines a light on Deep Web, the underbelly of the Internet. The browser remains a top entry point for cyber attackers. Image credit: McAfee It’s been a banner year for malware. Rootkits are a major problem, as are the autorun viruses that sit on USB drives, waiting for someone to plug the drive into a new PC. As McAfee... Read more...
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