a form of malware (software installed without
the user's informed consent which is designed
for malicious intent), which has the ability to
encrypt data on the infected computer and to hold
it "hostage" until a one-time fee is paid at which
time (hopefully) the person responsible for distributing
the ransomware will send the decryption key, which
will restore access to the files.
An example of ransomware is TROJ_RANSOM.A
. This particular Windows Trojan
freezes the infected computer and threatens to start deleting files unless a randsom is paid. In this case, the demanded price is $10.99! Read more about it here
. Another examples of ransomware is the Zippo Trojan horse. This Trojan was released in March 2006 and demanded $300 for users to regain access to their own encrypted files. Read more about it here
How Is Ransomware Installed?.
There are many ways a computer can become infected by a computer virus. Here are a few.
- The virus could arrive as an email attachment.
- The virus could be activated by clicking a link on a website.
- Could be sent via instant message.
- Could be installed by insterting an infected floppy disk or CD ROM.
- From being on the same network (without
the proper protection, firewall,
software etc..) as another infected computer.
- A computer might become infected by a virus
from what is called a drive-by-download (which
is a download that happens without the users
The Troj/Arhiveus-A Trojan horse (also known as MayAlert) displays a text file containing these words:
'INSTRUCTIONS HOW TO GET YOUR FILES BACK READ CAREFULLY. IF YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND - READ AGAIN.
This is the automated report generated by auto archiving software.
Your computer caught our software while browsing illegal porn pages, all your documents, text files, databases in the folder My Documents was archived with long password.
You can not guess the password for your archived files - password length is more than 30 symbols that makes all password recovery programs fail to bruteforce it (guess password by trying all possible combinations).
Do not try to search for a program that encrypted your information - it simply does not exist in your hard disk anymore. Reporting to police about a case will not help you, they do not know the password. Reporting somewhere about our email account will not help you to restore files. Moreover, you and other people will lose contact with us, and consequently, all the encrypted information.'
Read more about this particular infection here