FBI Warns $18m Extorted by CryptoWall Trojan

The FBI has issued a stark warning about the rising use of malware to demand money from the owners of infected computers. They state that the infamous CryptoWall trojan is currently…

…the most current and significant ransomware threat targeting U.S. individuals and businesses.

Between April 2014 and June 2015, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center…

…received 992 CryptoWall-related complaints, with victims reporting losses totaling over $18 million.

Many victims report that the criminals behind CryptoWall are polite and reliable. The explanation is that the criminals want to build up a reputation that encourages new victims to pay the money demanded, instead of going to the police or throwing their computer in the garbage. As such, it is likely that the FBI’s data understates the total value of ransoms paid.

The full text of the FBI’s service announcement is available here. Symantec’s analysis of the CryptoWall trojan can be found here.

Eric Priezkalns
Eric Priezkalns
Eric is a recognized expert on communications risk and assurance. He was Director of Risk Management for Qatar Telecom and has worked with Cable & Wireless, T‑Mobile, Sky, Worldcom and others.

Eric was lead author of Revenue Assurance: Expert Opinions for Communications Providers, published by CRC Press. He was a member of Qatar's National Committee for Internet Safety and the first leader of the TM Forum's Enterprise Risk Management team. Eric currently sits on the committee of the Risk & Assurance Group. He is a qualified chartered accountant, with degrees in information systems, and in mathematics and philosophy.

Commsrisk is edited by Eric. Look here for more about Eric's history as editor.