In the sneakiest of instant blackmailing attempts ever, hackers are trying to hold Windows PCs in the UK hostage until victims cough up a "release fee" of £50, and they're using the fear of being caught pirating music to do it too.
Hiding behind a fake PRS Music and Metropolitan Police-shaped veil, the malware uses the commercially available Blackhole exploit kit, which infects your PC through weak browsers and plug-ins. Once in, it throws up a lockdown message demanding you pay to get out of it using a supposedly secure "Paysafecard" payment method. If that's not bad enough, it also carries a nice little Trojan in with it called Aldi Bot, which will run amok on your PC and pilfer your banking details too.
According to the security blog that came across the "ransomware", the hackers seem to be working out of Germany, and are also targeting their homeland, France, Switzerland, Austria and the Netherlands too.
The solution to protecting yourself is pretty simple -- just keep everything updated. I don't know about you, but my Windows-using family isn’t all that tech savvy and could easily fall for this. Perhaps it'd be prudent to have a word with your folks about how not to be conned by something trying to take hold of your computer. Either that or get them to switch to Linux. [Abuse.ch via Cnet]