Russian police have arrested 10 suspected members of a ransomware gang who allegedly made millions via a locked computer malware scam.
PCs infected by the WinLock Trojan at the centre of the scam were rendered unusable because the malware disabled key Windows components. More embarrassingly pornographic images were displayed on compromised machines, IDG adds.
The crooks claimed the damage could only be undone by sending premium rate SMS messages at a cost of between 300 rubles ($9.72) and 1,000 rubles. Tens of thousands of victims, mostly in Russia, were hit by the scam, Host Exploit reports. Web users in Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova were also reportedly affected by the scam, which reportedly earned crooks as much as $16m in just one month.
More commentary on the scam and cybercrime prosecutions in Russia can be found in a blog post by noted Russian virus-fighter Eugene Kaspersky here. ®