Friday, October 28, 2005

Extortion virus stages comeback

Two new versions of a virus first reported in May are staging renewed attacks against computers in Russia, encrypting files and then extorting money from victims to decode the files. After an infection, the Russian-language instructions let victims know how many of their files have been encrypted. Translated, the warning says, "If you want to get these damn files in the decrypted format" then write to the e-mail address given. The message goes on to say, "P.S. And be thankful that they were not completely erased!"

Virus writers who seek to extort money from victims are nothing new and have been around since at least 1989. In the last couple of years, however, virus writers have moved away from writing malicious code simply to display their skills and are increasingly trying to make money.

CATEGORIES: 1virus, 1crime, 1extortion,1trends
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