This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more.X

Ransomware victims told NSA's Prism program caught them with child pornography

Share this article:

Dealers of ransomware are now attempting to frighten victims into paying up by tricking them into believing they've committed illegal online actions that were uncovered by the National Security Agency's Prism surveillance program.

 

According to a Sunday post on the 'Malware don't need Coffee' blog, the scam functions similarly to other ransomware attacks. If users surf to a compromised site or ad hosting the attack, their screen becomes locked, and a message is displayed. In this case, the messages are customised to appear like they come from the NSA's Prism mass data collection program, whose existence was exposed in documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

 

Victims of the ransomware are told that are under investigation for "illegal content downloading and distribution", specifically child pornography. To avoid prosecution and have their computers unlocked, targets are told they must pay $100 through a Green Dot MoneyPak by purchasing a prepaid card and transferring the value to the fraudsters.

 

A researcher known as Kafeine who studied the threat believes its purveyors are also responsible for the 'Kovter' ransomware, which began spreading earlier this year.

 

The crooks' command-and-control server is based in Russia, Kafeine said.

Share this article:

SC webcasts on demand

This is how to secure data in the cloud


Exclusive video webcast & Q&A sponsored by Vormetric


As enterprises look to take advantage of the cloud, they need to understand the importance of safeguarding their confidential and sensitive data in cloud environments. With the appropriate security safeguards, such as fine-grained access policies, a move to the cloud is as, or more, secure than an on-premise data storage.


View the webcast here to find out more

More in News

Hundreds of companies face 2,000 cyber-attacks in EU exercise

Hundreds of companies face 2,000 cyber-attacks in EU ...

The European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) conducted a 24-hour cyber-exercise in which more than 200 organisations from 25 EU member states faced virtual cyber-attacks from white hat hackers ...

Cyber security still a learning curve for most companies

Cyber security still a learning curve for most ...

Poor network visibility, outdated security tools, a skills shortage and a lack of control in the cloud are just some of the reasons companies are struggling with cyber-security, say two ...

WorldPay hacker sentenced to 11 years for role in £6 million scheme

WorldPay hacker sentenced to 11 years for role ...

An Estonian man, who helped hack payment processor RBS WorldPay in 2008, has now been sentenced to 11 years in prison for his involvement in the £5.9 (US$ 9.4 million) ...