All the latest UK technology news, reviews and analysis

Reveton ransomware poses as FBI to extort money from web users

10 Aug 2012
FBI Reveton ransomware

The FBI is warning of a so-called ransomware Trojan that extorts money from unwary internet users by masquerading as the law enforcement agency and claiming to have detected crimes committed using their PC.

Reveton is a drive-by Trojan that can install itself without the need for the user to open a corrupted file or attachment, instead being able to launch when users visit a compromised website.

The malware locks the user's computer and displays a bogus message pretending to be from the FBI and demanding payment of fines.

The US law enforcement agency reported detecting the Reveton ransomware on Thursday after being inundated with complaints regarding it from the general public.

"While browsing the internet a window popped up with no way to close it," read one Reveton victim's complaint.

"The window was labelled FBI and said I was in violation of one of the following: illegal use of downloaded media, under-age porn viewing, or computer-use negligence. It listed fines and penalties for each and directed me to pay $200 via a MoneyPak order.

"Instructions were given on how to load the card and make the payment. The page said if the demands were not met, criminal charges would be filed and my computer would remain locked on that screen."

The FBI has confirmed that the malware has already successfully stolen money from a number of innocent victims, but is yet to give an exact number.

While Reveton has mainly targeted the US, the FBI warned it has spread and is now operating on an international scale.

The agency has also reported finding a number of tailored variants of the malware, which add snooping capabilities such as the ability to turn on the computer's webcam remotely.

The malware's discovery follows on from warnings from security vendor Panda that cyber criminals use of ransomware is on the rise.

  • Comment  
  • Tweet  
  • Google plus  
  • Facebook  
  • LinkedIn  
  • Stumble Upon  
Alastair Stevenson

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

View Alastair's Google+ profile

More on Security
What do you think?
blog comments powered by Disqus

Windows 7 end of mainstream support

What are your plans for when Microsoft ends mainstream support for Windows 7 in January 2015?

Popular Threads

Powered by Disqus
LG G3 in gold black and white

LG G3 vs Galaxy S5 video

We pit the two Korean firms' flagship smartphones against each other

Updating your subscription status Loading

Get the latest news (daily or weekly) direct to your inbox with V3 newsletters.

newsletter sign-up button

Getting started with virtualisation

Virtualisation can help you reduce costs, improve application availability, and simplify IT
management. However, getting started can be challenging


Converting big data and analytics insights into results

Successful leaders are infusing analytics throughout their organisations to drive smarter decisions, enable faster actions and optimise outcomes

[Mandarin] Technical Support

The Role We are looking for highly motivated, technically...

JavaScript Developer

Developer (Javascript) London £40,000 Reporting...

Experienced Project Manager

Our award winning and highly successful client is seeking...

Experienced Project Manager

Our award winning and highly successful client is seeking...
To send to more than one email address, simply separate each address with a comma.