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Devious Ransom Trojan Takes Your Data Hostage

A new trojan makes you pay a ransom to regain access to your own files – and may even leave you feeling grateful.
  • 27 January, 2010 14:08

<p>Taking data hostage is not a new invention in the world of cybercrime but a trojan currently infecting computers does it in a way that can leave the victim unaware that he has been scammed.</p>
<p>Wing Fei Chia, Senior Manager - Security Response, Security Lab at F-Secure APAC, says, “When the W32/DatCrypt trojan infects a computer, it makes it seem as if some files, such as Microsoft Office documents, video, music and image files have been “corrupted”, when the files have in fact been encrypted by DatCrypt. Next the trojan creates what looks like an authentic message from Windows, advising the user to download and execute the "recommended file repair software" called Data Doctor 2010.”</p>
<p>If this utility is downloaded and executed, the user receives a message that it can "only repair one file in unregistered version". In order to repair — or more accurately, decrypt — more files, the user has to buy the product for US$89.95. After the money is paid, the software does return access to the files.</p>
<p>Chia continues, “This trojan works in a very devious way. The user is probably very relieved to get his files back and may not realise that he has just paid a ransom for his own files. The user may even recommend what seems like an excellent file recovery product to his friends. Similar ransomware tricks have also involved the File Fix Pro utility during the past year.”</p>
<p>These criminal schemes only work if the user has not backed up his important files elsewhere. F-Secure recommends that everyone backs up their important files regularly, either on removable media like CDs, DVDs or USB thumb drives, or with online resources like the F-Secure Online Backup.</p>
<p>Screenshots of the DatCrypt trojan are available at:</p>
<p>F-Secure Internet Security 2010 protects your computer against the W32/DatCrypt trojan and other online threats.</p>
<p>F-Secure Online Backup is an automated backup solution for your computer with unlimited online storage for your important digital content.</p>
<p>F-Secure – Protecting the irreplaceable</p>
<p>While you concentrate on what is important to you, we make sure you are protected and safe online whether you are using a computer or a smartphone. We also backup and enable you to share your important files. Our services are available through over 200 operators around the world and trusted in millions of homes and businesses. Founded in 1988, F-Secure is listed on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki Ltd.</p>
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