CryptoWall ransomware keeps spreading — FBI

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Bitcoin has typically been used by hackers as their means of demanding ransom from companies they’ve attacked with their malware. The Tech Republic reported last fall that CryptoWall usually spreads through email as an attachment, and through infected websites.

Ransomware is continuing to spread worldwide, according to data from the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.

Ransomware typically demands that users pay ransom in Bitcoin or other electronic payment method, and the FBI said in an alert issued Tuesday that the financial effect on victims has been extensive.

These viruses are usually successful and can have a severe impact on people and businesses, the FBI said. The creator of the ransomware then demands a payment to get them unlocked.

The advisory stated that the majority of the attacks involve ransoms paid in bitcoin, adding that the digital currency provides a number of useful advantages. Other ransomware, such as Critroni, have employed the same tactic. In June 2013, Microsoft, the FBI, and their financial partners disrupted a massive criminal botnet built on the Citadel malware, putting the brakes on Reveton’s distribution.

Cryptowall, like other ransomware families, is delivered through spam and exploit kits in order to encrypt what criminal affiliates hope are valuable files. Targets in the past have ranged from law enforcement

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