Scams, Schemes, and Good News for a Change | Avast

Beware this ransomware adware

Pursuing information on a malicious encryptor, cybersecurity researchers stumbled upon a ransomware/adware bundle scheme. Several seedy online shops selling “cracked” software — that is, software that has been hacked and resold — were including an adware bundle laced with ransomware. The cracked software featured Microsoft Windows programs, Adobe Photoshop, antiviruses, and more. The seller included the adware bundle undoubtedly to generate revenue, but in addition to the regular adware assault, a variant of the STOP ransomware was also included. This particular strain confuses victims with a series of ruses, including a phony Windows update screen, while the malware seizes the system. Some ransoms have been close to $1,000, with the added offer of cutting the amount in half if the victim paid in a timely manner.

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