extortionware : Java Glossary

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Aka ransomware or scareware. A trial program that gradually becomes more and more obnoxious demanding that you register it, eventually making your computer unusable. It uses a number of stealth techniques to ensure you cannot uninstall it, or stop or stop it from autostarting after each boot. The vendor hopes you will give up and register the program just so you can get rid of it.

The classic program this of this type is Spy Falcon thankfully now defunct. The program masqueraded as a legitimate anti-spyware program. The program was actually also a virus since it installs itself piggybacked on a free Windows media codec from media-codec.com a partner in the crime.

A virus creator usually goes to great lengths to hide his authorship. The creators of the Falcon Spy Trojan are brazen about it. Their motivation is extortion, not vandalism.

Falcon Spy puts many hooks into the OS (Operating System) so that if you miss one of them, a remaining hook will restore the other hooks, making it difficult to get rid of by ordinary techniques.

Anyone with the time or energy, I request make life awkward for these people including lawsuits and criminal prosecution.

The registered owner of Spyfalcon.com is:
SpyFalcon ltd.
David Taylor Unit 110 Alpha Bldg.
Subic International Hotel Rizal cor.
Sta. Rita Road, Subic Bay Freeport
Olongapo City, 2200, Phillippines
Tel. +206.9543154

The registered owner of media-codec.com is:
Lemos Adamantios
aktis 119, vouliagmeni
Athens Greece
Tel. +030.2108960081

Kovters uses the worst kind of shock to make people pay, in the form of first displaying child pornography and copying it to the victim’s drive before encrypting their system and holding it hostage. They mainly target those who routinely open enclosures, e.g. people who take job resumes.

Newer versions of ransomware are much more serious because, not only do they threaten to destroy your files, they compress and encrypt them and then literally hold them for ransom. Your only alternative is reformatting the hard disk, reinstalling all your software and restoring your files from backup and installing some heavy anti-virus software that can keep the ransomware out.

KnowBe4 is a company to help you deal with ransomware for a fee. Some corporations have paid tens of thousands of dollars to get their files back. What they do is help you pay off the ransom quickly by getting you the Bitcoins. The Bitcoin people are enablers and could be considered part of the criminal conspiracy.

A tool to get rid of ransomware has to run at boot time because the ransomware completely freezes your machine. You need to create a bootable CD or bootable USB (Universal Serial Bus) flash drive ahead of time and do a fire drill to make sure it works. Bitdefender, Avast,AVG, Avira, Kaspersky, Norton and Sophos all can work at boot time.

You often get tricked into installing ransomware with offers of free fake updates of packages like Adobe Acrobat. Don’t accept updates except direct from the vendor site.

Malware Bytes has a free version that you run manually. It removes viruses it finds. The $32.00 CAD version is schedules to run automatically every hour. The free trial found 159 threats on my machine.

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