2012 Year Summary: a Sharp Rise in Ransomware Viruses

As time goes by, and Christmas is just around the corner, 2spyware decided to sum up this year and overview the major parasites of this period. In fact, in 2012 we have almost been made to forget about rogue anti-spywares because bad guys have evidently improved their devious heist technique and started to pay more attention to ransomware viruses. They are much nastier than rogue anti-spyware threats and have already managed to swindle hundreds of thousands of dollars from users.

When trying to overlook the whole year, we must start with Security Shield and Google redirect virus. During the first half of 2012, there were millions of PC users who have been infected with Security Shield and bothered by annoying redirections to unwanted websites on Google or other search engine. In fact, it seems that scammers continue to use unfair techniques in order to improve traffic to their sites. They spread their toolbars (remember Incredibar?) and install DNS-changing viruses together with freeware and shareware, so be aware about that.

However, the biggest part of our attention this year has been dedicated to ransomware threats. While they spread in the same way as other viruses, they act in a different way next: they block the entire system and display a bogus alert, accusing the user of various Internet crimes. After the victim is informed that he has been noticed spreading copyrighted content or watching child pornography, he is asked to pay a fine. Basically, victim’s PC is held for a ransom…It must be added that these ransomware viruses use a local language of the user, show the victim’s IP address, various logos  and other details. The latest threats have even been using a webcam and ‘talking’ for its victim!

The most widely spread example of these ransomware viruses is, of course, FBI virus. It has not only managed to infect the biggest amount of PC users, but has also grabbed some attention from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Once this virus become recognizable, it has been replaced by FBI Green Dot Moneypak Virus, FBI Virus Black Screen and FBI Online Agent. Of course, if you live in UK and this region, you have heard about other Ukash threats, such as Metropolitan Police virus or Police Central e-crime Unit virus.

Be aware that there are many other countries that have been included into the distribution of these ransomware parasites. They all pose serious damage to victims because the entire process is automated and tends to lock the target computer at the highest speed. Finally, if you haven’t been infected by any of these nasty ransomwares, you are highly recommended making sure that you have a decent anti-spyware on your computer. Our recommended are: SpyHunter, STOPzilla, Malwarebytes Antimalware, Hitman Pro.

Stay safe during the next year, 2spyware

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