Holding Files for Ransom

By Deane Barker on May 24, 2005

Internet infection holds files ‘hostage’: This is inventive.

Computer users already anxious about viruses and identity theft have new reason to worry: Hackers have found a way to lock up the electronic documents on your computer and then demand $200 over the Internet to get them back.

Security researchers at San Diego-based Websense Inc. uncovered the unusual extortion plot when a corporate customer they would not identify fell victim to the infection, which encrypted files that included documents, photographs and spreadsheets.

A ransom note left behind included an e-mail address, and the attacker using the address later demanded $200 for the digital keys to unlock the files.



  1. I wonder how long it took someone to call the company providing the email address to trace it back to a user account?

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