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Security Australia

'Breaking Bad' Crypto Ransomware Targets Australian Users 38

An anonymous reader writes: A new strain of the Trojan.Cryptolocker.S targeting Australia is using the branding of popular TV crime drama 'Breaking Bad' to theme its extortion demands. After encrypting all the files on the victim's computer, the ransomware presents a message that uses a logo and character quotes from the show, in addition to a YouTube video from the game Grand Theft Auto V, thought to be a tribute to Breaking Bad.
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'Breaking Bad' Crypto Ransomware Targets Australian Users

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  • by Psychotria ( 953670 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @09:30AM (#49664001)

    The way these viruses are mutating, sharing RNA (code), and recombining to form new strains is ridiculous. My main concern is that my computer is in close contact with Windows, OSX and also Linux. Even if I was just dual booting Windows and Linux it would be bad enough. Dual booting with the obvious genetic soup it forms between the two different operating systems is a recipe for disaster. Such close contact between operating systems and a virus that mutates to form new strains, frankly, makes me quite uneasy. Because the operating systems run on the same underlying hardware, sharing the same genetics (opcodes) means that the likelihood of the virus crossing species (OS's) is pretty damn likely. We could seriously have an uncontrollable pandemic on our hands withing weeks unless the governments of the world (and their health organisations) proactively get together and tighten air traffic so that laptops and other computers come into contact. Without cooperation I fear that we face a pandemic that will make SARS look like a baby chicken (after it comes out of the egg all nice and fluffy).

  • by slashmydots ( 2189826 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @09:52AM (#49664223)
    In a year, 99% of viruses are going to be crypto ransomware. It's a million times more effective than stealing bank account info or health records or credit card numbers or any of that junk that's basically valueless in 2015. If my CC gets stolen, you'd be lucky to use it in another state let alone another country. If you steal my bank account login, you better know all my security questions too once the bank sees an unfamiliar IP address and I'll get a phone call to verify a large EFT. But encrypt someone's files and they're likely to pay the ransom. I think the original ransomware virus got like $50 million+. The people behind these viruses will never be caught so until every government makes it illegal to pay these fines, people will keep doing it.
    • by njnnja ( 2833511 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @10:02AM (#49664383)

      It may be the end of local storage, but what does the average person need to have locally stored anyways? Purchased content can be more efficiently stored by the seller and streamed on demand. And for "irreplaceable" content like photos, I trust cloud providers to deal with grandma's pictures better than she ever could.

      In the past, pipe size was the constraint that would lead people to store things locally but why shouldn't the average user leave all those headaches to someone else nowadays? More sophisticated users will continue to store things locally, but will also be better about off site backups and therefore less susceptible to this kind of ransomware anyways.

      • by o_ferguson ( 836655 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @01:32PM (#49666743)
        Great, except most clouds store a mirrored copy of your local files, so when the crypto encodes them, your cloud will update and overwrite with the new, locked files.
        • These ransomware viruses are getting more sophisticated. You can only combat that with a multifaceted strategy. I backup entire images to my media server. I also backup the irreplaceable stuff to a separate folder which my media server backs up to Amazon S3 via S3FS (shell scripts!). Finally, I have an external drive which I plug in and backup to once a week. It's cold storage which the ransomware can't get to unless I fail to realize I've been compromised when I plug it in.

  • I'll bet "heisenberg" is the unlocking password.
  • What OSes are affected? And why it's not part of TF[AS]?
  • I thought malware could only target a specific Operating System, in this case Microsoft Windows XP/Windows NT/Vista/ Windows 2000/Windows 7 ..
    • by Teun ( 17872 )
      Indeed, as usual the press thinks everyone in *.* runs Windows.
      And next they update the virus definitions on their iShiny.

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