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Rediff.com  » Business » Beware! Ransom-demanding virus on the prowl

Beware! Ransom-demanding virus on the prowl

December 03, 2013 17:29 IST

A man works on a tablet.Cyber security sleuths have warned Indian Internet users against a potent Trojan virus in the social media and email circuit which stealthily encrypts important documents of the user and then asks for a 'ransom' to unlock proprietary messages.

The audacity of the virus has been categorised as ‘severe’ and cyber experts say such a malicious programme has been detected for the first time which asks for a ransom of an estimated Euro or $300 to unlock the genuine files of a user through ‘anonymous pre-paid cash vouchers’.

Once activated in the user's email or in the operating system, the virus jeopardises the overall security of the user's classified information.

The number of incidents, perpetrated by the virus called 'cryptolocker', however, are low in India at present.

"An advisory has hence been issued to stop its prevalence and multiplying capability in Indian cyberspace," an expert cyber cop said.

The notorious malware has got as may as seven aliases to hide its original character in the cyberspace.

"It has been observed that the variants of malware family Win32/Trojan.Cryptolocker are spreading widely.

Cryptolocker is spreading via malicious hyperlinks shared via spam emails, social media, malicious email attachments (fake FedEx and UPS tracking notices), drive-by-download or as a part of dropped file from other malwares.

"Cryptolocker encrypts files located within local drives, shared network drives, USB drives, external hard drives, network file shares and even some cloud storage drives using RSA public-key cryptography (2048-bit), with the private key stored only on the malware's control servers," country's premier cyber security agency-- Computer Emergency Response Team-India said in its latest advisory to Internet enabled computer users.

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