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Police Ransomware: Evolving At a Tremendous Pace

16
Nov
2012

The Police Ransomware is not a new threat but has been evolving at a tremendous pace. Here we are talking about Trojans which don’t let the victims use their computer until they pay a “fine” for doing naughty things. To do this, they impersonate local police forces by using the infected user’s regional settings – in other words, they use the victim’s local language and the logos of their country’s police.

Last October, I published a new paper on the subject that touched less on the technical part of the attack and more on the financial side. When I talk about this topic, a lot of people often ask me: how are these Eastern European cybercriminal outfits able to keep using the same fancy payment methods? Can’t we follow the money trail? Well, not really.

The use of online vouchers as a method of payment for the scam has allowed these gangs to completely hide any money trail. This is an intriguing topic in itself, so I recommend you to check it out whether you’re a techie or just interested in the evolution of cybercrime. I wrote the paper for Virus Bulletin, which was held in Dallas last September, although my colleague Loucif Kharouni covered for me for the actual presentation. I finally did present it at B-Sides Sao Paulo in October, and you can find a video recording of that talk here. We have previously released paper on this particular series of attacks, which you can read here.

If you think this is something interesting and want to know more about it, why don’t you download the paper and give it a read?

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