In November, Symantec released a report describing the rapid expansion of ransomware into Western markets from its Eastern European origins, and the millions criminals have reaped from their scams.
Morparia urged victims not to give in to the extortionists -- "DO NOT PAY THE RANSOM," he wrote, figuratively shouting with uppercase characters -- and instead told them to remove the malware. Symantec provides a free tool, Norton Power Eraser, that seeks out and destroys ransomware and other forms of "scareware," like fake antivirus software.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about cybercrime and hacking in Computerworld's Cybercrime and Hacking Topic Center.