SOURCE: F-Secure

F-Secure, Internet Security, Anti-Virus, Antispyware, Firewall, Operation Aurora, zero-day exploits

January 26, 2010 11:28 ET

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

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwire - January 26, 2010) - 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.

Mikko Hypponen, Chief Research Officer at F-Secure, said, "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."

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 $89.95. After the money is paid, the software does return access to the files.

Mikko Hypponen added, "This trojan works in a very devious way. The user is probably very relieved to get his files back and may not realize 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."

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.

Screenshots of the DatCrypt trojan are available at:

F-Secure Internet Security 2010 protects your computer against the W32/DatCrypt trojan and other online threats.

F-Secure Online Backup is an automated backup solution for your computer with unlimited online storage for your important digital content.

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