Thursday, December 06, 2012

Ransomware Is Expanding in the United States - NYTimes.com

Ransomware Is Expanding in the United States - NYTimes.com

Essentially online extortion, ransomware involves infecting a user’s computer with a virus that locks it. The attackers demand money before the computer will be unlocked, but once the money is paid, they rarely unlock it.

Happened to my boss. He couldn't remember where he might have been browsing when he picked up the virus.

The messages often demand that victims buy a preloaded debit card that can be purchased at a local drugstore — and enter the PIN. That way it’s impossible for victims to cancel the transaction once it becomes clear that criminals have no intention of unlocking their PC.

Seems to me as if the credit card companies should bear some part of the responsibility in this problem. They're making money off the debit card transactions, aren't they? Can't they track down the accounts the money is being transferred to? Or is it all going to purchases?

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