Want Your Data Back? Pay $200

Posted by: Digital Geek

Want Your Data Back? Pay $200 - 05/25/05 05:22 AM

Hackers have found a new way to terrorize computer users -- by finding your documents and putting a lock on them, refusing to remove it unless you pay them $200 to get them back.

The new ploy was discovered by WebSense, a San Diego based security firm. To get in, the hacker tricks a user into visiting a website that downloads a Trojan horse onto a victims machine. Once downloaded, if executed the Trojan searches for all text files on a users computer and replaces the text with gibberish.

It will also create a textfile called "Attention!!" which contains instructions on how to unlock a users file. "Decoder costs USD 200. Send USD 200 to e-gold account send message about it and I send programm to your e-mail," the file reads.

Security firms were quickly updating their anti-virus software to prevent the scam from spreading further, which is being dubbed "ransom-ware." Several news organizations attempted to contact the trojan's author at the e-mail address provided in the textfile, however no answer was received as of Tuesday.

While the threat is new, anti-virus firms said that the scam is not spreading, possibly due to more vigilant -- and more skeptical -- Internet users watching what they are downloading.

SOURCE