Ransomware in the wild again

A new trend in hijacking PCs and holding their users to ransom has been identified by a US security company.

A form of malware employing pay-by-phone extortion has been identified as a new means for cyber criminals to literally hold users' PCs to ransom.

The new 'ransomware,' as it's being called, locks up a user's PC and demands $35 (17.67) to renew bogus "browser security and anti-adware software" licences before returning control back to the user, a US security research firm said earlier this week.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The backdoor Trojan, identified by Florida-based Sunbelt Software as "Delf.ctk" is typically installed through security exploits, giving an attacker unauthorised access to a PC and the means to remotely control it without the user's knowledge.

The resulting fake Microsoft alert screens which lock up the system direct users to the internet protocol (IP) address of a payment processor of pornographic websites, 'passwordtwoenter.com' and a number of other similar sites.

Sunbelt chief executive, Alex Eckleberry, said in a blog posting on Monday that "you're completely locked out of the system" after the Trojan is run and installed, and that the only way to regain control is to pay the fee being demanded via phone numbers it lists.

Both the telephone numbers and websites sharing the passwordtoenter.com IP address trace back to a Seychelles-based company called Global Voice. But the company has failed to respond to email enquiries about the reports.

Advertisement - Article continues below

"Apparently, this is a payment processor that's now being used for malware, whether they know it or not," added Eckleberry.

Although ransomware is not a completely new cybercrime tactic, the last outbreak was reported over six months ago, when the Trojan horse "Gpcoder," froze user access to PC files for a ransom of $300 (151.44) a time.

Featured Resources

Preparing for long-term remote working after COVID-19

Learn how to safely and securely enable your remote workforce

Download now

Cloud vs on-premise storage: What’s right for you?

Key considerations driving document storage decisions for businesses

Download now

Staying ahead of the game in the world of data

Create successful marketing campaigns by understanding your customers better

Download now

Transforming productivity

Solutions that facilitate work at full speed

Download now



University of California gets fleeced by hackers for $1.14 million

30 Jun 2020
cyber security

Australia announces $1.35 billion investment in cyber security

30 Jun 2020
cloud security

CSA and ISSA form cyber security partnership

30 Jun 2020
Policy & legislation

Senators propose a bill aimed at ending warrant-proof encryption

24 Jun 2020

Most Popular

Google Android

Over two dozen Android apps found stealing user data

7 Jul 2020

How to find RAM speed, size and type

24 Jun 2020

The road to recovery

30 Jun 2020