All the latest UK technology news, reviews and analysis


Bitdefender offers free ransomware removal tool to stem Piracy attacks

17 Nov 2012
security risk management

Security firm Bitdefender has released a free version of its malware removal tool to tackle a piece of ransomware that has been on the rampage.

Bitdefender said that it would be offering users a free copy of its "Piracy" malware detection and removal kit to tackle the threat from a piece of malware that poses as a message from law enforcement and looks to extort payment of "fines" from victims.

Shortly after being installed, the malware is said to scan the user's location and then blocks users from using their PC, notifiying them that their systems have been found to be associated with piracy.

Users are then ordered to send payment to the malware operator in order to remove the alert and regain use of their systems. Localised versions of the attack can target users in the US, UK and other parts of Europe.

Bitdefender estimates that the attack has already infected millions of systems and is particularly effective in collecting payments due to the prevalence of users who actually do download and share pirated content.

"The Piracy Trojan capitalises on that same sudden jolt of fear people experience when they hear a police siren and see the flashing lights behind them as they’re being pulled over,” said Bitdefender chief security researcher Alexandru Balan.

"The Trojan scans the victim’s IP address, tells them the message is from the police, and then accuses them of an offence they very well may have committed without even knowing it."

While this attack has been particularly effective, the use of law enforcement images and claims of police authority has become increasingly popular in 'ransomware' attacks. Such scams will often block access to some or all files on a system unless the victim agrees to make payment to the malware operator.

  • Comment  
  • Tweet  
  • Google plus  
  • Facebook  
  • LinkedIn  
  • Stumble Upon  
Shaun Nichols
About

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for V3.co.uk. He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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

Windows 7 end of mainstream support

What are your plans for when Microsoft ends mainstream support for Windows 7 in January 2015?
10%
9%
3%
64%
14%

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
Newsletters

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

newsletter sign-up button
hpv3may

Getting started with virtualisation

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

ibmv3may

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

Java Developer - Finance Software Consultancy

Java Developer / Java JEE Consultant (Java JEE RDBMS...

IT Support Assistant - Urgent

IT Support Assistant - Rochdale / Bury / Oldham / Manchester...

Sharepoint Architect | Sharepoint 2013 | Sharepoint 2010

SharePoint Architect required with experience of concepts...

Project Support Officer - Planning, Reporting

My client has an urgent requirement for an experienced...
To send to more than one email address, simply separate each address with a comma.