NEWS FROM THE LAB - Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Confused News Regarding Police Ransom Trojans Posted by Mikko @ 13:20 GMT

Computer security is confusing. It's not a simple topic to write about. Mass media often gets the details wrong.

However, we rarely see as confused news articles as we have with Police Themed Ransomware.

So, what are these Police Themed Ransomwares? They are malicious trojans, spread by online criminals.

What do they do? They lock up your PC, claim that it was locked by the police as you had illegal content on your system and demand a payment to open up the PC.

We've written about such Police Themed Ransomware previously. For more details, see this blog post.

Obviously these police trojans have nothing to do with Bundespolizei, New Scotland Yard or the United States Department of Justice — they are just stealing their brand.

But today we saw news agency called ANI publish a confused wire story on the topic.

The story claims that "the scam is believed to come from Scotland Yard's specialist cyber crime officers, the Police Central e-Crime Unit" and "Scotland Yard has warned that police have detected paedophile or terrorist activity as being behind a virus".

ANI news

The story references an earlier article in The Telegraph, which does get the details correct.

And because ANI is a wire service, the story has already been reprinted across the web.

ANI news

No, these police trojans are not coming from the police. Trust us on this one.