Of all the types of malware, ransomware is one of the scariest because it literally holds your computer ransom and locks all functions until you cough up the cash and pay off the malware’s creator.
In related news, the security folks over at Trusteer have just reported the discovery of a new variant of ransomware that is based on the Citadel crimeware platform. And to show that cybercriminals are starting to become gutsier, this ransomware actually impersonates the U.S Department of Justice.
The new ransomware variant is being distributed and spread by drive-by malware attacks.
Once installed on the victim’s computer, the ransomware locks-up the targeted machine and displays a warning message notifying the user that they have violated United States Federal Law.
In order to unlock their computer, the victim is instructed to pay a $100 fine to the US Department of Justice using prepaid money card services. The payment service options presented to the victim are based on the geographic location of their IP address.
Trusteer notes that this malware serves as a decent example of spam campaign optimization, as it utilizes multiple monetization vectors: first, through its ransomware variant; and second, from its online banking transaction hijacking capabilities.
Keep your data safe by backing up frequently and protect your computer by installing an anti-virus program and updating it regularly.