Friday 18 January 2013

Ransomware, a new and most dangerous threat in town

Up to now we have had to face threats for virus, malware, adware, spam and what not to protect our computers and our personal information.  Now the latest entrant is "RANSOMEWARE" Beware!
This is the image of a computer of a user afflicted by Ransomware.
The above image appears on the screen of the computer which has been hacked or intruded by a malware named Ransomware.  The ploy of the engineers of this malware.  That is to lock your computer with a screen above message about your ip address being charged with visiting child porn site, paedophile site, child abuse site or download above images among other things, which are not permitted in almost all the countries of the world.  It will further ask you to pay certain amount of money toward penalty for unlocking you computer. 
A user who has never visited such sites, rather than be shamed in front of others, tends to pay the penalty only to find out that he has been scammed. 
As of now this malware which started initially in Russia, has afflicted computers only in Australia, Germany and United States, but it is fast gaining momentum in other parts of the world. 
Ransomware enters the system through a downloaded file or a loophole in the network.  The program so downloaded will then encrypt the hard drive with a complex encryption program with the codes known only to the malware author.    The program works typically by overiding explorer.exe, the main file in Windows Registry, with som every modified the Master Boot Record, which then does not allow the system to run until it is repaired.
To avoid Ransomware users are requested to avoid unknown emails and infected websites.  Security programs like Avast! or Avira will keep you safe.
And in case you have been inflicted by ransomware, first things first don't PAY.  You can then repair you computer through rescue CD/repair CD or a bootable anti virus (Download AVG) to wipe the ransomware out and reclaim your computer.
Vijay Prabhu

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