Linux Systems Targeted by New Ransomware

Ransomware is a particularly nasty piece of malware that has become even more popular in recent years. Initially, malware was designed to just disrupt or damage a person’s computers or files. Then came ransomware, designed to benefit the creator by either disturbing or denying access to their files the ransomware then offers to decrypt any nastily encrypted files using the only available key online by a set date if you pay them. It would seem that Linux users are the latest target with Linux.Encoder.1 targeting the operating system.

Targeted at a vulnerability in the Magneto CMS system, popular amongst e-commerce sites, and then once run with administrator-level privileges, will encrypt the user’s home directories and any files that could be associated with websites and hosting websites on the system. This is particularly lethal to stores which make their living through online selling, potentially knocking the site offline and costing them hundreds in one fell swoop.

After encrypting a directory, the system leaves a readme file, stating the terms for payment and offering a link to the Tor-protected gateway to make the payment of one bitcoin (a digital currency that comes in at around £250).

Once it has received the payment the malware will then decrypt the files, deleting both the readme file and the encrypted files during the process.

We would like to remind people to be careful when running any software or opening files sent or downloaded from the internet. Ransomware use is on the rise and we wish that our readers (and everyone else) never has to deal with being one of its victims.

MPAA Plot to Attack Google Uncovered

Leaked e-mails have revealed that the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) paid multiple state Attorneys General to attack Google. The leaked e-mails are the latest scandal to break from the massive Sony online hack. The MPAA and Google have a tempestuous history together; Hollywood accuses Google of facilitating copyright infringement by indexing illegal torrent sites, and Google regularly resists the MPAA’s attempts to censor its search results.

The Verge summarises one of the key incriminating e-mails from the MPAA below:

May 8, 2014: Fabrizio to group. “We’ve had success to date in motivating the AGs; however as they approach the CID phase, the AGs will need greater levels of legal support.” He outlines two options, ranging from $585,000 to $1.175 million, which includes legal support for AGs (through Jenner) and optional investigation and analysis of (“ammunition / evidence against”) Goliath. Both options include at least $85,000 for communication (e.g. “Respond to / rebut Goliath’s public advocacy, amplify negative Goliath news, [and] seed media stories based on investigation and AG actions.”).

The e-mail needs a little deciphering: ‘Goliath’ refers, of course, to Google, whereas CID stands for ‘Civil Investigative Demand’, a form of administrative subpoena to force information from a company. In summary: powerful Hollywood studio collective pays US public servants to bully a company it doesn’t like. It will be interesting to see how the MPAA tries to spin this.

Source: Techdirt