Eset warns against malware 'as Gaeilge'
Scammers using ransomware to 'unlock' infected PCs
TechLife | 21 Sep 2012 :
Security firm Eset has warned Irish users to keep their eyes open for 'ransomware' demanding a small fee be paid in exchange for unlocking their computer. According to a blog post, messages delivered in poorly translated Irish are claiming a PC has been locked for alleged illegal activity, such as downloading or distributing malware, and will only be unlocked if a €100 fine is paid within 72 hours. The e-mails usually claim to be from a Government agnecy or An Garda Siochana and may come with relevant logos or graphics to appear official.
One telling error includes the incorrect listing of .ie domains associated with Ireland with Iran's .ir.
This ransomware is a variant of Win32/Kryptik.ALXA virus that has so far targeted users in UK, Holland, Poland, Spain, France and Belgium.
The malware will usually not 'unlock' an infected computer even if the victim sends money to the required address, and the computer will remain infected until it is properly cleaned.
Eset recommended users not transfer any funds to the scammers and keep their anti-virus software up to date. The company also advised against using online virus scanning services as they themselves pose a security risk.