Ransomware leverages victims' browser histories for increased credibility

Visited websites are listed as source of illegal material in order to make the bogus police messages more believable, a researcher says

By Lucian Constantin, IDG News Service |  Security

The average number of daily infection attempts with police-themed ransomware has doubled during the first months of 2013, according to Sergey Golovanov, a malware expert in the global research and analysis team at antivirus vendor Kaspersky Lab. The distribution of this threat was at an all-time high during February and March, he said Monday via email.

According to Golovanov, the most important thing for ransomware victims is not to pay the cybercriminals any money. "What you need to do is go to another computer and start searching for a solution, which you will always be able to find on the Internet," he said. "All antivirus companies post free instructions and utilities to help users unblock their computers."

"In the worst-case scenario, if you are faced with a unique blocker, you can always address the specialized forums of antivirus companies or contact tech support for expert advice and solutions," he said. "Of course, this could take some time, but the key thing is not to pay up and fund this extortion."

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