The new plague: Computer viruses that extort you

The new plague: Computer viruses that extort you


Ransomware, a particularly annoying breed of computer virus, is spreading like the plague. This malware locks you out of your computer files until you pay up -- and it is proving incredibly difficult to exterminate.
 
A major ransomware operation called Cryptolocker was supposedly halted by the FBI in May. Not so fast, security experts say. It's only a setback.

 

 

Cryptolocker used a massive network of hijacked computers called a "botnet" to spread the virus. The FBI, foreign law enforcement and private security companies teamed up to cut off communication between that botnet and victims' devices. They seized Cryptolocker's servers and replaced them with their own.

But as antivirus maker Bitdefender points out, all that accomplished was to stop Cryptolocker's virus delivery system. Cryptolocker lives on, and its criminal masters just need to find a new botnet to start delivering viruses to new computers once again.

If the criminals tweak the virus' code and find a different set of servers, law enforcement is back at square one.

SOURCE


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