The ESET HQ malware research lab reports an increase in Trojans that encrypt user files and demand payment for the decryption. This type of Trojans is referred to as a Filecoder.
ESET reports that its company’s malware collection system known as LiveGrid shows the weekly average of Filecoder detections from July 2013 to today is over 200% higher than the weekly average detected from January 2013 through June 2013.
44% of Filecoders detected by ESET’s LiveGrid are from Russia. There are also substantial numbers detected from Southern Europe, Central and Eastern Europe and even the United States.
Robert Lipovsky, ESET Malware Researcher , said “The Win32/Filecoder malware family is more dangerous than other types of so-called ransomware as they usually encrypt pictures, documents, music and archives. A wide range of techniques and levels of sophistication has been seen in different variants over time. It can be very expensive. Malware samples in this category usually request sums of around €100 – €200, however some have been seen extorting up to €3000. The high amount is consistent with the fact that the attackers usually target businesses that can usually afford to pay higher ransoms than individuals.”
The exchange rate of dollars to euros is currently $0.74 to €1.00.
Recently these villains have pressured their victims by placing a countdown on the screen letting them know that once the time has elapsed the files will be permanently locked.
Your computer can compromised by one of these Filecoders through the use of drive-by downloads, e-mail attachments, installation through another Trojan or backdoor, or even manual installation
It is advised that you keep your anti-virus software and your operating system up to date with the latest downloads and patches. You should also password protect your anti-virus software to ensure it is not tampered with. And don’t forget to perform regular backups.