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December 14, 2016

Popcorn TIme Ransomware Pardons Victims, If They Infect 2 Other Victims

Ransomware has been around for a while, and it’s a pretty nasty thing as it encrypts users’ files and forces them to pay. Now, a group of hackers, allegedly from Syria, have create a new type that gives victims a choice: they either pay up, or they infect two new users to have access to their files again.

This new type of ransomware, named Popcorn Time (unrelated to the Popcorn Time software you use to watch movies), is different from the type that hit the San Francisco Metro System last month. It forces users to either pay 1 Bitcoin, or to send their friends a link that will infect them with the ransomware. If the victim’s friends pay up, then the victim gains access to its [...]

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November 28, 2016

San Francisco Metro System Blackmailed for 100 Bitcoins by Ransomware Extortionists

On the 26th of November, the San Francisco Examiner reported the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) was hacked. Infected computers at Muni stations were reportedly downed by HDDCryptor ransomware, whose masters attempted to extort the station for bitcoin. As a result, passengers got a free ride throughout the weekend as the agency was forced to open up the gates, since they were unable to process fare payments.

Muni ticket machines, kiosks, employee laptops, email and printed services, payroll systems and SQL databases were compromised according to The Register. Out of a total of 8.656 PCs and Macs on the agency’s network, a total of 2,112 were compromised [...]

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November 27, 2016

New Form of Ransomware Uses Social Media to Customize Demands

A new form of ransomware is reported to have been found that uses a person’s social media and computer files to customize a demand, according to cybersecurity researchers at Proofpoint.

Called ‘Ransoc’ by the researchers because of its connection to social media, they found that the malware was scanning local media filenames and running several routines by interacting with Skype, LinkedIn, and Facebook profiles, infecting the system through Internet Explorer on Windows and Safari on OS X.

What’s interesting about this new type of ransomware is the fact that unlike ransomware such as Locky, which encrypts a person’s files before demanding payment, Ransoc customizes its [...]

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November 4, 2016

Computer Virus Cancels Hundreds of Scheduled Surgeries in the UK

A computer virus has paralyzed three hospitals in the UK forcing them to cancel hundreds of scheduled surgeries, as it targeted computers of the National Health Service (NHS). Healthcare facilities located near Lincolnshire, in the east, were the most affected.

Several medical institutions in the region share the same IT system, in order to improve the quality of provided services. To detect, isolate and eliminate the virus, hospital tech security personnel were forced to shut down the system.

Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust, an institution that coordinates medical services, classified the attack as a “major incident”, even though it did not [...]

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