A new kind of malware circulating on the Internet freezes a computer and then asks for a ransom paid through the Western Union Holdings money transfer service.
A sample of the Trojan horse virus was sent to Sophos, a security vendor, said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant. The malware, which Sophos named Troj/Ransom-A, is one of only a few viruses so far that have asked for a ransom in exchange for releasing control of a computer, Cluley said.
Once run, the Trojan freezes the computer, displaying a message saying files are being deleted every 30 minutes. It then gives instructions on how to send $10.99 via Western Union to free the computer.
Wait until the banks and government get hold of this so-called "ransomware." It could be an incredibly effective tool for going after deadbeats of all kinds. The technically naive ones who don't think to back up valuable computer files that might be worth something as collateral, that is. But how many of them are out there?