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 the Editor of Commsrisk. Look here for more about the history of Commsrisk and the role played by Eric.

Eric is also the Chief Executive of the Risk & Assurance Group (RAG), a global association of professionals working in risk management and business assurance for communications providers.

Previously Eric was Director of Risk Management for Qatar Telecom and he has worked with Cable & Wireless, T‑Mobile, Sky, Worldcom and other telcos. He was lead author of Revenue Assurance: Expert Opinions for Communications Providers, published by CRC Press. He is a qualified chartered accountant, with degrees in information systems, and in mathematics and philosophy.