Practical Technology

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Ransomware: Malware Armageddon approaches


Some day soon, you may go in and turn on your Windows PC and find your most valuable files locked up righter than Fort Knox.

You’ll also see this message appear on your screen:

“Your files are encrypted with RSA-1024 algorithm.
To recovery your files you need to buy our decryptor.
To buy decrypting tool contact us at: ********”

That’s right, ransomware is back and it promises to be nastier than ever.

This newest way of holding your PC at hostage was discovered by anti-virus and malware company Kaspersky Lab. This new piece of malware crap is the latest variant of the venerable Windows-based encryptor virus Gpcode.

The first time around Gpcode wasn’t that big a deal because it wasn’t that hard to crack its encryption. This time around, a few days after the malware appeared on Kaspersky’s radar, Kaspersky has been forced to look for help in busting the encrypted files.

The best part? This latest malware’s private security key is created by Windows’ own built-in cryptographic component, Microsoft Enhanced Cryptographic Provider. Kaspersky has the public key, but like any public/private key cryptographic method you must have its associated private key to unlock the encrypted files.

It’s moments like this that make me glad I abandoned Windows for desktop Linux years ago.

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