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back to article New trojan masquerades as Microsoft enforcement-ware

Malware-makers have created a strain of ransomware Trojan which masquerades as a Microsoft utility. The Ransom-AN Trojan claims that a user's Windows machine is running an unlicensed copy of Windows and threatens to cripple the victim's computer unless marks pay €100 to obtain an unlock code, which can be purchased via credit …

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Joke

So..

"have created a strain of ransomware Trojan which masquerades as a Microsoft utility"

What's the difference?

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Anonymous Coward

I wonder just when ...

Windows is declared unfit for purpose and banned from sale?

Just what will it take?

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It will take..

..a mammoth drop in users. Three quarters (if not more) of the world uses Windows based software. To claim that it isn't fit for purpose is silly. It is quite clearly a fit for a lot more purposes than any other OS at the moment. Warts and all.

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Anonymous Coward

@AndrueC

Not fit for purpose maybe a little strong, but maybe *not as good as it should be* is better?

Actually - if every new user started from a clean slate and chose exactly the OS that worked best for them, then it would prove MS was 'fit for more purposes' - but that's not how it works is it?

The vast majority of computer users buy a PC which has MS already installed on it, and wouldn't even know there is an alternative, or that it might be worth a look. This has nothing to do with whether it's actually better for them than alternatives or not.

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Anonymous Coward

Yes...

Yes, Windows should be taken off the shelves because no Linux, Mac or UNIX users would ever install a Trojan.

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Ru
Facepalm

"Windows is declared unfit for purpose"

Ahh, so this is definitely a software issue rather than a user issue?

Well, I expect it'll be banned from sale just about as soon as all software developers are required to guarantee the merchantability and fitness for purpose of their products. I can recommend holding your breath til then; I'm sure it'll be Real Soon Now.

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Something I can agree with

>Not fit for purpose maybe a little strong, but maybe *not as good as it should be* is better?

Yup. It'd be interesting to see how long Linux/MacOS could remain 'clean and pure' if they became as mainstream as Windows. A lot of the problems with Windows are the result of trying to pander to the common man and make things easy and simple. As with all security it's a matter of compromise. Another raft of problems are because it's such a big target. Far better to hit 1% of Windows users than 50% of Linux users.

For all its faults Windows has underpinned the growth of personal computing for the last twenty years and DOS before it. It'd be interesting to know how the others would have faired if Windows hadn't succeeded. It certainly has it's faults but the idea that 'it isn't any good' just doesn't hold water with me :)

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@I wonder just when...

It's software, so they can always say it's freedom of speech.

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Sir

Any mention of the attack vector at all?

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And only this morning

I got an email from 'paypal' asking if I had authorised a refund, and to click on the link provided to check the details.

Email header showed it had come from 'refndrquest@e.ppal.com' and the paypal link went to 'http://91.196.253.35/includes/js/gb/index.html'

So I told my wife about it and labelled it as spam.

Still - bound to catch an IE user out.

:-)

ttfn

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Joke

@And only this morning

"Still - bound to catch an IE user out"

You mean the those who turned from photosynthesising to reading their email?

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Black Helicopters

Paranoia rules!

If any email mentions "clicking on link" and money in the same body text, it's instantly binned! I tell every one to do that.

Better safe than sorry.

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only yesterday

I got one "from play.com" encouraging me to "cancel" an "order" I'd "made".

Hmmm.

Likelihood of a "buyer's remorse" button: 0.01%

Likelihood of SWMBO taking note of $MAIL_CLIENT's "this looks like a scam" warning: 10%, but rising.

Likelihood of me re-visiting the site which sold/lost my email details (and I know which one - and it wasn't Play - because every site gets a different one): 0%.

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It's a pity ...

that certain financial institutions don't heed common advice ! Yes PayPal, I'm looking at you (though others do it too).

PayPal are constantly sending out emails of the "have you checked your online activities lately, click here to login" style. Yes they are genuine, and they excuse themsleves by saying "you can tell it's genuine because we've included your full name".

I've had similar from a bank, and another bank is quite happy to phone me up and expect me to prove who I am !

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Coat

I only realised...

that it was a scam when it popped up on my retro Pentium box running Windows 3.1...

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Hmm

So the fact that some one downloads some thing from the that trashes their computer means windows is not fit ?

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HMB

Evil Genius

You have to hand it to them, as evil as they might be, I can't help but be impressed by the ploy.

Linux and Mac fan boys are always so quick to blast this sort of scenario, it distracts them from the fact that around 90% of all computer users don't use their software. Don't tell me there isn't choice either, or whine that Windows is pre-installed. If linux was so damn good then it would be talked about enough to get spread around and easy enough to install for a noob.

People I know grumble about using Open Office, let alone full blown open source OS's.

P.S.

I do use Linux for certain things and wish it every success, I'm just sick of stupid fanboys.

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not only trojans

People I know enjoy using OOO (LibreOffice) and FOSS OS's.

If MS Windows is so damn good, why to preinstall it at all?

PS I do not use Windows for anything... simply because all of those preinstalled (the fact no one should whine about) I got with my PC's either died, or were (became) soooo slow (saying nothing about them being useless and risky)....I couldn't tolerate any longer.

>>If linux was so damn good then it would be talked about enough to get spread around and easy enough to install for a noob.

FYI, some Linux distributions are easier now to install (and faster) than MS Windows. So that's why most PC are Windows preinstalled?

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Unlock code

I wonder where Panda got it from. Surely it wasn't embedded in the trojan unencrypted?

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FAIL

People get what they deserve?

This is no different from a Linux user downloading lots of software from vague and shady locations and trying to install everything on his machine while being root (so that it can be installed system-wide).

But I do wonder; it poses as a MS tool, would this be a tool which you normally have to pay for or "just" a tool ? While its said to be hard to remove the trojan again I can't help wonder about that.

Win7 for example uses an hidden boot partition which always has a fresh copy of the boot setup. So using the recovery tools you should be able to wipe your startup fully clean (from last known good configuration right down to a full boot re installation). And that's not even mentioning restoration points.

Still; bottom line... Never try stuff on your main machine. Its exactly for reasons like these (well, not fully but still) why I have several virtual machines around using MS Virtual PC. I hardly grab new software tools, but if I do I first test it on a virtual OS and when I like what I see only then will I consider installing it onto my main environment.

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Windows' habits

>>This is no different from a Linux user downloading lots of software from vague and shady locations and trying to install everything on his machine while being root (so that it can be installed system-wide).

Well, it might be the fact if a Linux user you are talking about failed to dispose of this peculiar "Windows' habit". 99.999% of the software is installed from a central repository (ports in the BSD world) with installers obligatorily checking it for the signatures and checksums.

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The German is quite a bit unidiomatic

The word "verliehen" should have been a dead clue as it means either "awarded" or "borrowed".

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Put some text here

Billy boy should take a close look at this, t could be a new revenue stream for Mickeysoft....

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Angel

derp

wow...why not get investigators with warrants to go after the merchant that's processing the credit cards, then find out where the money is being sent to and go from there. maybe they'll find the person behind the trojan.

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