Thursday, April 15, 2010

New Virus Blackmails Victims With Their Web History

Viruses aren’t just for crashing your computer anymore. They can actually be used to shake you down for money. There is a new virus that publishes your web browsing history on a publicly viewable web site and then charges you to have it removed. BBC News reports as follows.

“The Japanese trojan virus installs itself on computers using a popular file-share service called Winni, used by up to 200m people.

It targets those downloading illegal copies of games in the Hentai genre, an explicit form of anime.

Website Yomiuri claims that 5500 people have so far admitted to being infected.

The virus, known as Kenzero, is being monitored by web security firm Trend Micro in Japan.

Masquerading as a game installation screen, it requests the PC owner’s personal details.

It then takes screengrabs of the user’s web history and publishes it online in their name, before sending an e-mail or pop-up screen demanding a credit card payment of 1500 yen (£10) to “settle your violation of copyright law” and remove the webpage.”

There are of course other forms of extortion by virus. There are viruses that will encrypt all of the files on your computer and make you pay a ransom to unlock your files.

The most ambitious virus is one which puts popups on your screen telling you that you have been caught violating copyright laws. It offers a settlement, as well as the opportunity to pay on your credit card. Once they have your credit card info (Click here for the rest of my article on

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