back to article 'NSA PRISM spies' shake down victims with bogus child-abuse vids claims

Crooks are using the NSA's notorious global web surveillance scandal in new ransomware: punters visiting booby-trapped websites are falsely accused of downloading illegal material, told their PCs are now locked from use, and ordered to hand over a cash "fine" to unlock their computers. Cloud security firm Zscaler has spotted 20 …

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So surprised

I think I mentioned the inevitability of this type of thing in an earlier comment. Penalties against perps in a scam like this should be very harsh indeed.

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Re: So surprised

Which perps?

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Re: So surprised

Penalties against perps in a scam like this should be very harsh indeed.

A .357 to the head would suffice.

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Re: So surprised

Wouldn't be surprised if the scammers got outed fairly swiftly...for using the logo if nothing else. The NSA are spectacularly tooled up for dealing with this sort of thing, plus they could use a little positive publicity at the moment.

On you go NSA; we're waiting (folds arms, looks at watch).

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Headmaster

They Need Locking Up

The perpetrators need locking up for the bad spelling alone.

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The biggest problem of all is that an innocent family member or friend might get accused of being the one who must have downloaded porn. This could in some cases have some really nasty results. This is not a trivial crime.

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Not exactly what you said, but just a fortnight ago I got a panicked call from an acquaintance about how his PC was locked by the equivalent French authority for illegal filesharing. Indeed, he could no longer access the Internet from that PC.

I know the guy. He doesn't have a chance in Hell to have installed a filesharing tool, he doesn't even know what that is, nor where to get one. Yep, he's just a n00b, and good on him too.

I calmed him down immediately and told him that was most certainly a scam. I asked him for the exact warning message, and in two clicks I got him proof that it was a scam. Then we set about fixing the issue (okay, I set about fixing the issue).

My point is, there are people who will be caught by this. Honest people, who will be honestly afraid and won't have a knowledgeable friend to turn to for help.

Shame on those crooks.

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Black Helicopters

Oooo them scammers are in so much trouble now... did you see, they used the seal of the NSA in their scam... the NSA head bods takes a dim view of people misusing their agencies seal.

Black helicopter for obvious reasons.

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Devil

Scammers or spies?

Are these real scammers or just a front for the NSA soliciting extra-governmental funds for black-ops?

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Irony?

Does it qualify as irony when a national intelligence agency, which by default, is wholly focused on the cause and effect of information, affects such a cause as scammers riding their coat tails?

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Re: Irony?

Send it to Alanis Morisette for her collection - she must have loads by now.

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Happy

Re: Irony?

@Moiety

Very good but a bit obscure.

Phil.

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NSA?

Yes, yes... But are these the same crooks that run the NSA?

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Re: NSA?

No it can't be because most crooks have a code of honour, whoever runs the NSA has no scruples whatsover.

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Help me Obi Cam Kanobi you're my only hope

This is why we need the Great Firewall of Cameron - to protect us hapless brainless punters from the DANGER OF THE INTERWEBS.

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Re: Help me Obi Cam Kanobi you're my only hope

If they can erect a massive firewall to protect us from porn...

...Then why can't they construct one to keep out spammers and malware writers?

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the other day

A friend of mine came to work the other day saying his fiance was freaking out about having to pay $300 to avoid being prosecuted for downloading child pornography. Granted, she is hardly the most computer savvy person on the planet. My friend reassured her she won't have to pay anything, but in the process, she grilled her son, who vehemently denied watching anything "he shouldn't" on the web... but after an hour of tears and yelling, finally admitted to frequenting a couple of sites for which the internet was invented. Poor kid. Two days later, our IT guy came back from holiday and rid them of their locked computer.

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Facepalm

Re: the other day

Once in high school, I wanted to show a friend how easy it was to cajole people into damning themselves, simply by making a blanket accusation and letting their guilt consciences work on it for a while. So I approached a random colleague and told him in my most serious tone:

John, you're done for, we know it.

To which he retorted: Know what?

And I answered: You know what.

After a few seconds being stared at, he started waving his head: Uh, I'm not gay.

I haven't tried this trick since.

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FAIL

New screensaver image

I'm having that for my screensaver.... at work only, of course.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: New screensaver image

I'm having that for my screensaver.... at work only, of course.

When you come back to your desk and find someone furiously trying to scroll down, you know what to do.

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Windows

Duh, not again!

If it weren't for the seriousness of the matter, one would have to laugh.

Is there NO opportunity these scumbags will miss?

Seemingly not!

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WTF?

"Ceratin"

Is there some sort of rule that obliges scammers to make spelling or grammatical errors? (click on the picture to expand -> second and third bits of legalese)

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Re: "Ceratin"

Quite possibly done on purpose. Scammers do not want to waste time with people who are sufficiently clued-up to catch on before they have fallen victim, and it has been suggested that poor grammar and spelling are de rigeur in order to ensure people who will be more difficult to con do not engage.

"In choosing a wording to dissuade all but the likeliest prospects the scammer reveals a great sensitivity to false positives."

http://research.microsoft.com/pubs/167719/WhyFromNigeria.pdf

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Anonymous Coward

Oh, come on - it has to be a fake. No government agency would put together a web site as well-designed as that.

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New spin on an old scam

My flatmate got one of these on his pc, only claiming to be from the Australian Federal Police. I decided to ignore his pleas for help in removing it for a few days, and only relented when he finally promised to never use IE again.

He now knows better, as I informed him the next time he gets it, my "fix" for the problem would involve introducing his fingers to a ball peen hammer.

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