The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has issued numerous alerts to warn Internet users about pieces of ransomware that rely on the names of law enforcement agencies to convince victims to pay up. The latest version uses the name of the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).The pieces of malware involved in this campaign are pretty much the same. The cybercriminals utilize the Citadel malware in order to deliver the Reveton ransomware.
However, this new variant, which leverages the reputation of the IC3, doesn’t only threaten victims, but it also informs them that their computer activity is being recorded via audio and video devices.
A webcam and a microphone are displayed on the locked screen to make everything more legitimate-looking.
Ransomware schemes that involve both Citadel and Reveton allow the attackers to make an impressive profit. That’s because while Reveton asks victims to directly pay a fine, Citadel can be used to steal sensitive information – including online banking details – from the targeted device.
Users whose computers are infected with such pieces of malware are advised to file a complaint on ic3.gov.
In order to prevent such threats from landing on your machines, the IC3 recommends the use of antivirus and antispyware software. Internauts are also advised to keep all their applications and their operating system updated at all times.
Finally, authorities agree with security experts and advise victims to contact reputable computer specialists to assist with the removal of the malware, instead of paying the ransom.
In August, the IC3 reported that they were getting dozens of complaints every day from users whose computers became infected with such malware.
At the time, they revealed that many people were actually paying the so-called fines, despite the numerous advisories and alerts issued by authorities and security solutions providers.