Thursday, December 06, 2012

When Your Computer Threatens You

An article in today's New York Times notes the growing threat posed by "ransomware," the malicious software that disables a computer and demands payment of a "fine" to restore its functionality. (Payment will not fix the problem; never send money to an entity in cyberspace you don't know.)

The Times reports that a computer security expert based in France was able to track the operations of one criminal gang working with ransomware. It infected 18,941 computers in a single day, Owners of those computers paid over $400,000 in ransom payments.

That would explain the appeal of this form of malware to cyber-criminals.