Cryptolocker malware now accepts ransom payments in Bitcoins

first_imgThe frightening Cryptolocker malware has already evolved. It still locks up your precious files with 2048-bit encryption and threatens to throw away the key, but now it allows you to pay its ransom in Bitcoins.It’s an interesting twist in the Cryptolocker saga and one that shows its creators are not only crafty criminals but smart business people, too.The minds behind Cryptolocker clearly understand that their original digital extortion plans had to be tweaked. As terrifying as the threat of losing all your digital files might be, many Cryptolocker victims would rather lose it all than risk handing over valid credit card information.Every time someone refuses to pay, that’s $300 in ransom that the Cryptolocker crew loses out on. The solution? Offer a payment method that’s secure and anonymous, so that victims can hand over the cash without revealing any more sensitive information.As odd as it sounds, Cryptolocker’s creators have already proven that they’re playing fair — as much as someone who’s holding your files hostage can actually do that. Security message board discussions about Cryptolocker report an unbelievable rate of success when the $300 ransom is paid. It’s hard to find comments from anyone who says their files weren’t decrypted after paying.Now that Bitcoin payments are accepted, it may be even more of a no-brainer for businesses and home users alike to cough up the cash. And if accepting Bitcoin payments proves lucrative, you can bet that Cryptolocker will become an even bigger threat than it already is.With a better payment system in place, the focus will shift to widening the net: additional vulnerable websites will be sought, botnets may be employed, mailing lists will be phished. It’s going to get worse before it gets better, so make sure that your anti-malware software is fully updated and stay away from websites you don’t trust.last_img read more