Prosecutors have expanded a complex case, involving an alleged pump-and-dump stock scheme, hacking into U.S. banks and operating an unlicensed bitcoin exchange, to include money-laundering charges related to processing bitcoin ransoms paid by ransomware victims.
What could be worse than a ransomware infection? How about getting infected by "torture ransomware" that uses a sadistic puppet to taunt you, slowly deleting your encrypted files while increasing the ransom demand until you pay?
Attackers have been exploiting JBoss application servers to install remote-control web shells as part of a campaign that targets enterprises with network-hopping SamSam (a.k.a. Samas) ransomware, researchers at Cisco Talos warn.
A new report suggests that a Chinese cyber espionage APT attack group is behind a string of targeted ransomware infections that have slammed U.S. firms. Dig into the details, however, and the report is nothing but speculation, two security experts caution.
The FBI calls ransomware "a prevalent, increasing threat." One recent campaign earned at least $325 million in global profits, while U.S. victims tell the FBI they paid $24 million in ransoms in 2015. And attackers are plowing profits back into improving their malicious code.
A Hollywood hospital acknowledges paying ransom to unlock data seized by attackers. But while experts generally caution against paying extortionists, some organizations do indeed fold under the pressure to get their critical data back quickly.
Tracing bitcoin transactions, some security experts suspect multiple gangs have each amassed more than $1 billion, making them the equivalent of "unicorns" - a term venture capitalists apply to extremely successful startup firms. In case there was any doubt, cybercrime really does pay.