Those wacky virus writers have come up with a novel new way to earn money with a new form of virus that encrypts your data and then holds it for ransom. If you ever want to see your My Documents folder alive again you’ll give us some cash!
The Archiveus virus caught out British nurse Helen Barrow and swapped her data with a password-protected file.
The virus is the latest example of so-called “ransomware” that tries to extort cash from victims.
Analysis of Archiveus has revealed that the password to unlock the file containing all the hijacked files is contained within the code of the virus itself.
This virus swaps files found in the “My Documents” folder on Windows with a single file protected by a 30-digit password. Victims are only told the password if they buy drugs from one of three online pharmacies.
The 30-digit password locking the files is “mf2lro8sw03ufvnsq034jfowr18f3cszc20vmw”. Using the password should restore all the hijacked files.
So if you happen to get hit with this particular virus there’s no need to panic. Still, you can bet we’ll see variations on this theme become more common as time goes by.