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US Warns Users of Child-Porn Blackmail Ransomware

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the nefarious-evildoers dept.

Security 196

coondoggie writes "The nasty Trojan known as Citadel malware, which is based on Zeus, has typically been used to extort money from online banking users, but a new variant is making the rounds that tries to get your money by saying you looked at child porn sites and must pay a violation fee to the U.S. Department of Justice. This variation, called Reveton, lures the victim to a drive-by download website, at which time the ransomware is installed on the user's computer, says the U.S. Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). Once installed, the computer freezes and a screen is displayed warning the user they have violated United States Federal Law."

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Scummy yet brilliant. (5, Insightful)

MrQuacker (1938262) | more than 2 years ago | (#40199453)

Its not like you can call the police and complain about it. You'll instantly get labeled as a pedo and have your kids taken away.

Re:Scummy yet brilliant. (2)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#40199481)

I imagine most people would also be hesitant to take it into a repair shop with that message displayed on the screen even if they recognize it as a scam.

Re:Scummy yet brilliant. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40199491)

It is a shame.

In the US if someone reports you it is on your record and you are unhirable again even if the court clears you it is public record. Might as well pay UP!

Why can't the Russians stop these assh*les? It is like the wild rest and these guys go on for year after year making hundres of millions of dollars. That is just crazy

Re:Scummy yet brilliant. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40199529)

Seems to me that from your post American law has a much bigger problem than the Russians do in this particular instance.

Re:Scummy yet brilliant. (4, Insightful)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200255)

We don't have "American Law" we have whatever your favorite executive agency decides to this week or worse with this person. That is the real problem.

Re:Scummy yet brilliant. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200497)

Not so much. Keep in mind that the original assertion by MrQuacker that reporting an infestation of those virus would cause the police to charge you with child porn possession was a joke. Thanks response to that, to which you yourself are responding, assumed that the joke was serious, then went on to state as fact that being charged with and then acquitted of this crime would cause 100% of future employers to reject, which is of course untrue. So a misstatement of fact based on a misunderstood joke does not equate to a broken judicial system.

Which is not to say that the US Judicial system isn't badly broken; it is -- but not in this particular way.

Re:Scummy yet brilliant. (4, Insightful)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200691)

I'm not so sure he was joking.. At any rate, if you call the cops they expect to arrest someone. If the real perp is too inconvenient to go after, you're the lucky winner. This is even more likely if the malware does a bunch of google searches for kiddie porn in the background

Re:Scummy yet brilliant. (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 2 years ago | (#40201079)

I'm not so sure he was joking.. At any rate, if you call the cops they expect to arrest someone. If the real perp is too inconvenient to go after, you're the lucky winner. This is even more likely if the malware does a bunch of google searches for kiddie porn in the background

I agree, it sounds like a very realistic scenario to me.

Re:Scummy yet brilliant. (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#40199637)

Even if the russians did, the scammers would just relocate their operations somewhere else.

Re:Scummy yet brilliant. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40199691)

Exactly. Realistically, the only solution is user education. On second thought, that is not much realistic either.

Re:Scummy yet brilliant. (1, Insightful)

shiftless (410350) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200063)

No, the only solution is to get rid of the police state that scapegoats people and singles them out for extra punishment based on their membership of some arbitrary group of "evil" people.

Re:Scummy yet brilliant. (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200227)

You mean, like, say, Communists?

Oh, the ironing.

Re:Scummy yet brilliant. (-1)

philip.paradis (2580427) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200799)

Oh, the ironing.

Did you just remember to finish your laundry? You may want to use a bit more starch this time; your trousers looked a bit rumpled yesterday.

Re:Scummy yet brilliant. (2)

flyneye (84093) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200499)

Where's Batman when you need him?
There really needs to be a vigilante for law enforcement to unofficially ignore while the press reports on the worldwide vivisection of Malicious code authors, botnet admins and their benefactors.

Re:Scummy yet brilliant. (1)

outsider007 (115534) | more than 2 years ago | (#40199547)

Is there something you would like to share with the group, MrQuacker?

Re:Scummy yet brilliant. (5, Interesting)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#40199763)

This is why "possession" of something shouldn't be a crime. Anything can be planted in your house/PC/car/whatever without your knowledge.

A country which allows a computer virus to ruin your life and make you forever unemployable has some serious problems with its laws.

PS: I cleaned up a machine with this three or four months ago here in Spain.

Re:Scummy yet brilliant. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40199857)

"PS: I cleaned up a machine with this three or four months ago here in Spain."

With MyCleanPC no doubt.

Re:Scummy yet brilliant. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200119)

But it's possession of illegal material. There are many good reasons why possession of certain stuff can be considered a crime. Toxic/dangerous stuff without a license.

You may disagree that CP should be considered illegal material, but good luck convincing lots of people otherwise.

Re:Scummy yet brilliant. (2)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200149)

But it's possession of illegal material. There are many good reasons why possession of certain stuff can be considered a crime. Toxic/dangerous stuff without a license.

Sure, if they can prove that you *know* you have the stuff in your possession.

eg. If they find the heroin in a baggie in your underpants then it's unlikely you didn't know about it. If they find it taped under your desk in a busy office then there's no way you should be in trouble unless they have more evidence. Innocent until proven guilty and all that.

Re:Scummy yet brilliant. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200257)

I am not american, but it seems, that "Innocent until proven guilty and all that." is not always true in US and with every day it becomes event more untrue

Re:Scummy yet brilliant. (1)

RodBee (2607323) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200281)

It's the same on a lot of other countries. Neocon magazines and newspapers pass the judgment now.

Re:Scummy yet brilliant. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200443)

I am not american, but it seems, that "Innocent until proven guilty and all that." is not always true in US and with every day it becomes event more untrue

Just look how "innocent until proven guilty" Julian Assange is, you know, the rapist.

Re:Scummy yet brilliant. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200817)

I am not american, but it seems, that "Innocent until proven guilty and all that." is not always true in US and with every day it becomes event more untrue

You've figured out our system. We're trying to fix it, but sheeple lie to be lied to. "Another pedo arrested" "I'm am innocent" "Yeah right, you pedo!"

Re:Scummy yet brilliant. (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200233)

I can see toxic/dangerous substance, because I can cause a lot of people harm with it. With CP, I guess the harm has happened before someone got into possession of the material.

Re:Scummy yet brilliant. (4, Insightful)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200289)

But it's possession of illegal material. There are many good reasons why possession of certain stuff can be considered a crime. Toxic/dangerous stuff without a license.

You may disagree that CP should be considered illegal material, but good luck convincing lots of people otherwise.

On any website there could be this:
<iframe src="http://pedo.example.com/illegal-porn.jpg" style="width:1px; height:1px; border:none" ></iframe>

Cross site scripting and/or SQL injection could easily plant that stuff on any website, unseen. Your browser will happily and automatically download the image and put the "illegal material" in your possession.

We don't need "good luck convincing lots of people" that this can happen to them, all we need are script-kiddies like Anonymous who'd love nothing more than to get a bunch of people wrongfully convicted of child porn possessions esp. if it means making a point about how retarded the law is.

This stuff isn't dangerous or toxic sitting in your Internet cache unseen and unknown to anyone. It's only dangerous to have the configuration of bits on your drive because the laws have deemed it to be so. Protip: this script kiddie scenario isn't hypothetical... delete your caches regularly.

Re:Scummy yet brilliant. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200473)

Actually, in my country, the law is that it's not possession if you just look at it with your browser.
The material might be stored in a cache, but the cache is not considered to be in your possession, since it is temporary, automated and can be deleted by itself at any time.

This exception is there in the law just to avoid cases like this. If you accidently happen upon a page with illegal material, for example through a malicious link or someone posting something inappropriate on a public forum or chan-board, it is not enough to convict you if a few images happen to be temporarily stored in your browsers cache. You have to actively save or preserve them in some way. In other words, there has to be an intent to keep the material (no matter how you gained access to it).

It is also like this for watching streamed content, either live cam-streams or video stored on a server you do not own. It is not possession to merely watch a stream. In the case of actively engaging in a live thing, though, there are other laws that may apply, such as recent "grooming" laws.

Of course, some people want watching live feeds depicting such material to be illegal (notably our Queen once made a statement on it), and are lobbying for it ...

Re:Scummy yet brilliant. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200319)

Yes, but it doesn't matter how it came into your possession or how quickly you deleted it. If they had to prove that you knew about it and didn't delete or that you solicited the images it that would be a completely different story.

But as it is, if somebody emails you some child porn and reports you for it, you're almost certainly going to see prison time and be on the sex offender registry whether or not you solicited or even knew that the images were in your possession.

I have no particular issue with the materials being illegal, I do have a huge problem when genuinely innocent people can have their lives ruined through no fault of their own.

Re:Scummy yet brilliant. (5, Insightful)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200747)

This has nothing to do with "possession" or even crime in and of itself.

This has to do with the hysterical overreaction of the general public towards anything which is so much as suspected as being involved with or related to child pornography. Victims of this ransom-ware may well pay in fear of being ripped to pieces by an angry mob, and their fears would not be all that far fetched at this point. At the very least, they stand a good chance of having their entire life ruined should even a hint of suspicion fall on them.

Child pornography, like all hysterias, has become an excuse for a segments of the public to indulge in chaos, anarchy and criminal behaviour in their reaction to it. Even a pointed finger can now be a life or death sentence for innocent people. This is why it was important not to let the rule of law slide on this or any other issue.

But no. People wanted to indulge their outrage. I suppose democracies get what they deserve.

Re:Scummy yet brilliant. (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200211)

And that's the part that scares me more than that ransomware by itself. Because it can only mean one of two things:

1. That there ARE actually that many people looking at CP and they feel guilty and don't get help for that reason.

2. The CP witch hunt has crossed the line where people don't even dare to get help if accused wrongly because the allegation alone already puts you on some stupid list.

Re:Scummy yet brilliant. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200597)

I'll vote for option number 2. Any law where lack of criminal intent is specifically excluded as a defense is hideously broken, not only violates the US Constitution (which the neocon Supreme Court lets them get away with) but the principles of common law on which much of our legal system is based. The police state cheerleaders (usually "small government" neocons, BTW) get away with this because..."but, the children!". I can't point to statistics here that I know of because people who try to study the issue in an academic setting often seem to end up in jail and in this witch hunt environment even searching for stats could be dangerous, so I won't and you shouldn't either. However, have you ever heard of a case where somebody who actually had this stuff on purpose would have been let go because nobody could have proved intent? I didn't think so.

OK, now I just agreed with those who pointed out a serious legal flaw in all of this, without actually commenting on the underlying issue. Trust me, in a public debate doing anything other than constant public cheerleading for the witch hunt crowd will get you branded as a supporter of criminals. The "you're with us or you're with our enemies" simpleminded mentality extends far beyond alleged terrorists in this woefully undereducated country.

Re:Scummy yet brilliant. (1)

flyneye (84093) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200369)

But wouldn't it be wonderful, instead of all the blunder butt crap the government does do to the U.S. people, why don't they do their secret snooping to find black hats responsible and let the C.I.A. peel all their skin off. I don't think you could get a rights organization to shed a tear, if they've ever fallen prey to a trojan or lost something to a virus.
            The time for tolerating "black" hats as useful to computer security was sooooo over years ago. Now is the time to make hardcore hunting sport of them.
I would personally love to own a lampshade made from the ass of the last trojan I cleared off a chumps harddrive.

Re:Scummy yet brilliant. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200481)

I would personally love to own a lampshade made from the ass of the last trojan I cleared off a chumps harddrive.

Make certain that:

1. Your ancestral purity is up to snuff.
2. You own the jury pool in your state or federal district.
3. You have the plan and materials to commit the perfect act of terrorism against your local ADL chapter. "Lampshade" is a word that the ADL has reserved unto themselves since in this context it refers to Holocaust victims body parts used for household items. Also applies to "soap" and "pillow fill".

Re:Scummy yet brilliant. (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200893)

Yeah you have to admire the unadulterated evil brass balls on these lads. Its a nice mix of social engineering and tech. If they put half as much effort into legitimate business imagine how much money they'd have made.

Stupidity (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40199457)

A "violation fee" to the "Department of Justice" for a felony without conviction.

What kind of idiot is going to--- never mind.

Re:Stupidity (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200993)

A "violation fee" to the "Department of Justice" for a felony without conviction.

What kind of idiot is going to--- never mind.

I know, right? How ridiculous. It's like people think the President is putting people on some sort of "kill list" and sending drones after them. oh... wait.

aka Idiot tax (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40199477)

Evolution before our very eyes, watch out creationists!

I think that singling out kiddie porn is kinda stupid though since not too many people watch it. Just illegal porn would be much better. I guess it can be pretty much anything at all with these people browsing the web with internet explorer 6.0 using adobe flash, microsoft silverlight and oracle java and every other plugin you can imagine.

Hope you catch many idiots!

Re:aka Idiot tax (4, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#40199653)

I think it's a great scam, because people are terrified of the idea of being associated with child porn. A threat like that will ensure they don't go to a repair shop, or mention it to anyone. Not the police, not friends or family. Noone. Greatly reducing the chance of the sucker being told it's a scam.

Re:aka Idiot tax (2)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#40199679)

If the command server is raided and all the ip's/timestamps that are waiting for CC numbers are found in plaintext?
Thats a lot of crime to solve, a huge boost for cyber enforcement clear up numbers and a budget boosting PR victory for next year ...

Re:aka Idiot tax (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200555)

I think it's a great scam, because people are terrified of the idea of being associated with child porn. A threat like that will ensure they don't go to a repair shop, or mention it to anyone. Not the police, not friends or family. Noone. Greatly reducing the chance of the sucker being told it's a scam.

If the authors of this scam thought it through they probably delete all your temp internet files and your history. That way it looks like you already tried to clean up your activity (the act of an obviously guilty person). They may even send a few http requests to known CP sites to plant some evidence on your computer.

Re:aka Idiot tax (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40199745)

In most places, Illegal porn gets you a a dirty look from the judge and a fine if you are really unlucky. CP on the other hand can get you a 20+ year sentence in the US.

It doesn't matter if the victim watches it or not. The scammers are hoping to exploit the fact that their victims would be reluctant to seek help out of fear of false prosecution, which is not as far fetched as I'd like to. Personally, I'd suggest zero-write to anyone who caught this bug. I wouldn't count on the malware authors not putting incriminating evidence on infected systems and even putting spiteful logic bombs which trigger when you clean the infection. Better paranoid than trying to reason with the pitchfork jury.

Re:aka Idiot tax (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200085)

and in muslim countries it's ok so long as you marry the 5 year old

Re:aka Idiot tax (2)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#40199819)

Just illegal porn would be much better

Uhhhh... what is illegal porn again? Child porn involves criminal acts with a child. Rape porn, also involves criminal acts against a person. Snuff... well you get the point.

Other than obvious instances of crimes that are being visually recorded just what do you feel should be made illegal?

Sounds to me like "illegal" porn is just what you find objectionable on a moral or cultural basis, and is not actually against any law. Unless you are talking about antiquated sodomy laws or something.

Re:aka Idiot tax (4, Informative)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 2 years ago | (#40199945)

Well, for example, porn that depicts violent acts, even between consensual adults, is illegal in the UK [wikipedia.org] .

The performers have a defence as long as the acts they participate in are acts which a person is legally able to consent to in the UK, but the photographer and others present (sound crew, director, etc) are on the hook.

A relatively recent law as well, so not some antiquated sodomy law.

Re:aka Idiot tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200207)

UK seems to be a bunch of prudes.

Re:aka Idiot tax (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200509)

UK seems to be a bunch of prudes.

There is a critical mass of Muslims in the UK who won't tolerate the garbage and are quite ready to start trouble. Only the ale-swilling, pork-munching, foul-mouthed Soccer Thugs[TM] can save the UK now. They need to remove the keratin flutes from their bums and defend the homeland.

GOD SAVE THE QUEEN

Re:aka Idiot tax (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200259)

What a ridiculous "law", completely unjustified in its existence, inherently unequal in its application, and explicitly discriminatory. A movie with a pig skull-fucking an infant is a more moral work than that piece of legislation.

Re:aka Idiot tax (4, Informative)

bergelin (1320345) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200505)

A translator of Manga comics recently got convicted of child pornography in the district court and the court of appeal in Sweden. This picture [dagensjuridik.se] (nothing nasty really) was judged as child pornography by the district court, but was cleared in appeal. He was still found guilty in appeal though, but for other pictures. The case is currently being heard by the Supreme Court.
The defendant is not a child abuser by any means, and in all likelihood hasn't got any pedophilic tendencies. He's just a fan of Japanese comics and owns a huge collection of those.

Re:aka Idiot tax (1)

Zaphod-AVA (471116) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200853)

Huh. How does it not apply to boxing, wrestling, and MMA?

Re:aka Idiot tax (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200029)

Just illegal porn would be much better

Uhhhh... what is illegal porn again? Child porn involves criminal acts with a child. Rape porn, also involves criminal acts against a person. Snuff... well you get the point.

Other than obvious instances of crimes that are being visually recorded just what do you feel should be made illegal?

Sounds to me like "illegal" porn is just what you find objectionable on a moral or cultural basis, and is not actually against any law. Unless you are talking about antiquated sodomy laws or something.

That's kind of exactly what it is, in the US anyway.

US 'decency' laws are subjective, so porn may be acceptable in the area it was made but legally indecent in another. Max Hardcore is a great example. Went to jail for violating indecency laws in his pornos. Some of his stuff was admittedly nasty, but not explicitly illegal. Obscene is whatever you can talk a jury into agreeing is obscene, so pick your jurisdiction carefully and you never know what might qualify.

Other good examples include animal sex, if memory serves it's legal in a few states, and not in most. So your Zoo-porn site may or may not be illegal depending on where it's hosted, and then again, it might be illegal to view it where you live even if its legal where it's hosted! Fun with laws!

Re:aka Idiot tax (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200243)

Umm... in the other cases you mention, the crime is actually not the sexual act.

Rape: assault/bodily harm
snuff: murder

What else is there? Aside of backwards laws that outlaw stuff between consenting adults, every "sex crime" has an element outside the sexual act that is actually by itself a crime.

Who would fall for a fee? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40199483)

I'm pretty sure with all the "DINK OF TEH CHILLUNS!" bullshit that goes on that we burn anyone that looks at child porn at the stake, no one will believe they can get away with it for just a fine.

Re:Who would fall for a fee? (2)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#40199525)

The problem is the laws define a pedo with just having the material.

For example, if I uploaded kiddie porn to your computer you are a criminal for having it. Sure the penalty is much less than being a kiddie porn manufacturer which is someone who sends it but you are not guilty.

Worse, try to get a job again? Your future is ruined forever, because of an asshat and many will pay to make the problem go away! This is truly evil in the nth degree whether you feel this current laws are silly are not.

No respectable employer will hire anyone and yes if someone plants porn your life is gone whether you had anything to do with it or not. I can see people willing to pay believe or not sadly for these reasons.

Re:Who would fall for a fee? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40199543)

I was actually going to joke: 'Seems like the DOJ/NSA/Dept of Cybersecurity/etc has finally figured out the easy way to solve the Federal Budget Crisis.' Just do this to every american, pedo or not and you'll be back in the black by the end of the week :)

Re:Who would fall for a fee? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200261)

Money? C'mon, be a bit more creative.

Hint: You cannot post critical political comments from a PMITA jail.

Re:Who would fall for a fee? (3, Interesting)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 2 years ago | (#40199569)

There was recently (in the last few months, I believe) an article about intent in child porn cases. I think it was even on /. It said that simply possessing the child porn wasn't enough, there had to be proof that the person had intentionally viewed it.

found it. http://tech.slashdot.org/story/12/05/10/138205/ny-ruling-distinguishes-downloading-viewing-child-pornography [slashdot.org]

Is that only in New York, or has it set some sort of precedent or how does that work? I'm not fluent in legalese.

Re:Who would fall for a fee? (5, Insightful)

Amouth (879122) | more than 2 years ago | (#40199607)

but even if it is only in that area - you have to prove you didn't do it, and even if you can do that you have to do it n court, even if you come away "free" then it is still there that you where once prosecuted for it, and you have to live/survive that process which will more than likely ruin your life as you know it.

Re:Who would fall for a fee? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200215)

Actually, no. The entire basis of criminal law in the US is that the prosecution has to prove you did do it.

Re:Who would fall for a fee? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200267)

lol, tell that to the crowd with the pitchforks. Or you next (not-)employer.

Re:Who would fall for a fee? (1)

robthebloke (1308483) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200501)

Tell that to the pediatricians [guardian.co.uk] .

Re:Who would fall for a fee? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200375)

And technically they do. They prove that you own the computer and that there was child porn on that computer.

Which is probably why there's no mens rea requirement attached to possession of CP as that would require them to have actual evidence that the accused knew about it and had some type of involvement in it coming to be on that HDD.

There's a shocking number of people that think that the system failed whenever somebody is acquitted as obviously the prosecutors never falsely accuse anybody and don't make mistakes either. Except when they do in which case it's your fault for being accused.

Re:Who would fall for a fee? (4, Informative)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#40199665)

Not for very long, though. If you follow the media, espicially the more conservative media, there is a fair bit of public outrage at the ruling - lots of headlines along the lines of 'New York legalises child pornography!'. So much that within less than a day of the ruling, the legislature was already in the process of passing a bill to reverse it. It will, without a shadow of a doubt, sail through unchallenged.
http://www.deseretnews.com/article/765576135/New-York-bill-quickly-follows-court-ruling-on-child-porn.html [deseretnews.com]

Re:Who would fall for a fee? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200135)

From the link:

"The viewing of child pornography creates a demand and there is an entire industry out there of these images," she said. "When there is a demand, that requires abuse of the children to make more images."

So if you download music for free you're killing the music industry, but if you download child porn for free you're supporting the child porn industry?

Re:Who would fall for a fee? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200313)

She's lying. There's little to no commercial trading. A few places require newcomers to trade pictures to join but most sources are free. Commercial trade is too dangerous.

The curious thing about child porn is that so few people are involved in it that very few actually know how it works. That leaves the field open to people with an agenda to lie because you cant argue against them without knowing how the field works and if you know then people will think you're involved in it.

Re:Who would fall for a fee? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200187)

Wonder what would happen if someone changed the trojan to actually display real child porn a few days prior.
And write it all over the victims hard drive.
Both of which would be crimes (for the VICTIM) because of stupid laws like this.
And instead of demanding money it would send an email to the police.

Great way for the imprisoning industry to get more "customers".
Or to deal with the idiots that make INVOLUNTARY viewing and possession of child porn a crime.

Re:Who would fall for a fee? (2)

Nimey (114278) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200503)

Now if only this trojan could be targeted at certain prominent conservatives... say Limbaugh, Murdoch, et al. When it came out they'd gotten this on their computers, bet you the conservative media drumbeat changes.

Re:Who would fall for a fee? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200315)

Unfortunately for those who are truly innocent, changing the law so viewing it is illegal is the right thing to do. Otherwise, we may have the "guilty" providing themselves a sense of protection by only viewing, never saving, the offending material.

However, I'd rather see a system in place that deals with rehabilitation rather than just prison sentences. In the event that someone is innocent, and it can be proven during the rehabilitation process that they don't have that problem, no ill effects would occur to the 'convict' or to society at large.

But maybe in the case of child pornography, they should be focusing on those who are doing the physical harm to children and those who spread the offending material. Is there any way to stop it at the source so the victimization can't be done in the first place? Pedophiles were once children, so, are there any signs that would indicate someone may grow up to become a pedophile?

These are serious and disturbing questions we need to be asking if we ever truly want to solve this problem. The cycle needs to be ended if we want to prevent the victimization of children.

Re:Who would fall for a fee? (2)

rally2xs (1093023) | more than 2 years ago | (#40199661)

Pay? Not much more than the price of a brand new hard drive,which last time I looked was about $90. Bury the old dribe somewhere unretrievable, install the new drive, and you either baccked up your data or you didn't. No worse than a hardware meltdown...

I don't get it (4, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#40199733)

Bury the old dribe somewhere unretrievable

I guess "old dribe" must be the guy sending out these blackmail notices then.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40199861)

A little lead, a little concrete, and Mr. Dribe has written his last worm.

Re:Who would fall for a fee? (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 2 years ago | (#40199831)

Not much more than the price of a brand new hard drive,which last time I looked was about $90. Bury the old dribe somewhere unretrievable, install the new drive, and you either baccked up your data or you didn't. No worse than a hardware meltdown...

Considering how damn awkward some malware is to remove, this is probably not a bad solution for a lot of infestations. It's certainly quicker than a scan with a live CD followed by booting in safe mode, running every virus scanner you can think of, digging through HijackThis logs and still finding there's traces on there - and for a lot of people, time is money.

Re:Who would fall for a fee? (1)

F.Ultra (1673484) | more than 2 years ago | (#40199965)

Yes, but we are talking about people that are not computer savvy. To them the whole computer is the hard drive. And since they also think that computers are magic, they probably believe that the message will reappaer on the new hard drive the instant it's installed.

Re:Who would fall for a fee? (2)

gstrickler (920733) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200145)

Obviously you must be a pedophile, anti-American, neo-Nazi, terrorist [did I miss any?]. How dare you mock "think of the children".

Everyone, for the sake of our children, please help root out this vile anonymous coward. We must not allow questioning of anything done for the children. /sarcasm

Re:Who would fall for a fee? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200251)

My hope is just that this trojan infects the same bunch of people that kept cheering on when some BS laws got proposed and passed.

I cannot wait for the first politician infected with it. Please let me be the one who gets to analyze the computer, please... it will be the first NDA I violate.

Elitists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200569)

"...we burn anyone that looks at child porn at the stake, no one will believe they can get away with it for just a fine."

Unless they are rich, powerful, elitists. For more info, watch "Conspiracy of Silence", read "The Frankin Cover-Up", "Why Johnny Can't Come Home", or research Perry Dunlop (Canadian).

People do get off (no pun intended) - without even a fine if they are part of the 'brotherhood".

Not as bad as I expected... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40199561)

I actually expected this to really plant CP on the victim's computer and offer to remove it for a fee. Now THAT would be an asshole move.

Re:Not as bad as I expected... (4, Insightful)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 2 years ago | (#40199717)

That would also make them distributors and the target of just about every federal and most international police forces. As it stands now, it's just extorsion so as far as the governments are concerned, they're just lumped in with all the other un-prosecuted Nigerian scammers.

Re:Not as bad as I expected... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200607)

Oh come on, as long as the CP is not under copyright, no one will come after them over a border.

de-lousing... (2)

harvey the nerd (582806) | more than 2 years ago | (#40199573)

Sounds like a job for a bootable Linux lite thumb drive with trojan hunting files.

Re:de-lousing... (5, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#40199689)

You are not the target of this scam.

Re:de-lousing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200013)

You are not the target of this scam.

Psst.. I he means as a way of cleaning up the infection.

Re:de-lousing... (4, Funny)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#40199727)

Pay money or your IM/irc friends gets random Windows 8 questions .... interlaced with Maths 101 questions...
It took you a long time to find Linux users, pity if they where to think of you as dual booting...

Re:de-lousing... (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#40199887)

You mean like this [bitdefender.com] ?

soo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40199695)

if you visit lots a pron and never see this message YOUR COOL....
nice idea
ROFL

A correct decision (0)

Maxrot (2649587) | more than 2 years ago | (#40199737)

I think it is actually a very good warning. This is the best kind of penalties for child pornography is prohibited yapanlarada implementation in each country. Look, I have here a letter written in Turkish children with: http://www.vayoog.com/tabibo.html [vayoog.com]

Drive-by Downloads? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40199779)

lures the victim to a drive-by download website

What? Why is this still even a thing? What browser setup are people using that this is still a viable attack vector?

Re:Drive-by Downloads? (1)

Zaphod-AVA (471116) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200891)

All of them using Flash and Java. Most of which spend a lot of time unpatched. Even if they are, zero day exploits happen monthly.

It's worldwide (4, Informative)

jimicus (737525) | more than 2 years ago | (#40199783)

I've seen a version that's been localised to the UK; apparently there are also versions localised to Canada. I haven't analysed it but it wouldn't surprise me if it's all the same trojan and it uses geolocation to display an appropriate logo.

Brilliant scam because even if the user knows it's a load of rubbish, nobody wants to be even remotely associated with paedophilia. You'd have to be a bit of an idiot to think you could make such an accusation go away by paying a small fine - or for that matter to believe that the police's MO in these cases is to put a great big warning on your screen (rather than to arrest you at dawn and take all your computers away), but I suspect there are probably enough idiots in this world to make it profitable.

Re:It's worldwide (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40199879)

Exactly. That is how all these scams work. Send out the scam 1,000,000 times, get a 0.1% hit rate that's 1000 people paying you $.

Re:It's worldwide (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200889)

Probably worse than that. My network security teacher claimed unsolicited spam has a hit rate closer to 0.0001%, yet the average spammer makes about $400k/year. The next closest for those kind of accuracy, and still making money, is the weather man.

Re:It's worldwide (5, Informative)

deroby (568773) | more than 2 years ago | (#40199943)

My dad's PC had this, although apparently the creators didn't do their homework very well. Belgium having 2 (main) languages the scareware used the wrong language for this part of the country so he hardly understood what needed doing (not everybody speaks both languages). Off course the police logo etc made it look kind of daunting and -although it started up ridiculously slow- once it took over the pc became completely unusable.

It was rather easy to get rid of (safe mode, regedit, hijack-this and then a full scan with Security Essentials -which seemingly had missed it originally!)

The part I don't get is : how do the scammers get to their money (assuming some people are silly enough to pay) without the possibility of being traced back ?
=> shouldn't there be ridiculously easy traces to follow via paysafecard.com ??
=> worst case it should be easy enough to have these -at least!- blocked

Re:It's worldwide (3, Informative)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200105)

how do the scammers get to their money (assuming some people are silly enough to pay) without the possibility of being traced back ?

Usually they use different 3rd parties, don't tell them where the money is comig from or where it's going, and have them take the fall if they get caught.

Re:It's worldwide (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200769)

Usually they use different 3rd parties, don't tell them where the money is comig from or where it's going, and have them take the fall if they get caught.

You know those "work at home" advertisements? Most of them are just envelope-stuffing, blog-spamming scams. But some of them actually pay out quite well, and those that do often involve performing sketchy money transfers. Taking the fall is what they pay you for.

Re:It's worldwide (1)

zyzko (6739) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200007)

Yes, and in Finnish among other languages, F-Secure has identified [f-secure.com] a lot of localized versions. Although that malware is not that well sophisticated as zeus (instructions to get away from it are quite simple and included in the blog article) the method is the same - display the logo of a local law enforcement agency (police, internal police...) and demand (an anonymous) payment because they have found cp on your machine.

Easy money because it is a big accusation (even stronger than copyright infringement - with cp you are totally destroyed instantly by the community, copyright infringement at least gets yous some good-will) and just paying a relatively small sum may seem like an easy way out of the trouble. Of course education will help but there are those who are so freaked out by the accusation that they will not even think of seeking help and those who feel guilty because they have surfed "free porn" and are not really sure if that is all ok (no intentional cp, but you can never be sure with those shady things, can you, maybe those girls were 17 and not 18 after all...) and are afraid of if anyone else finds that out.

Not new (0)

gigaherz (2653757) | more than 2 years ago | (#40199937)

This has existed in Spain for many months. The Spanish version also includes piracy and other illegal activities in the list, in case you didn't look at child porn. It scares the shit out of people, and I suppose it works more times than it doesn't.

Love this virus (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40199953)

Brilliant scam, lol

general purpose virus (1)

tommeke100 (755660) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200219)

it's not really targeted at child pornography. I've moved the German version from a couple of PC's (BundesPolizei it said) a couple of months ago, and it said something 'pornographic material has been found on your computer etc...'. So child pornography was just part of the options. Anyway, it's exactly the same type of scam as those fake anti-virus trojans that try you to lure into buying their 'software'. It's not really looking for pornography on your computer, it's just giving that message to everyone and trying to scare them into paying.

Someone do the right thing... (1)

3seas (184403) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200237)

make one of these that informs people to instruct government on what and where the taxes they pay are to be spent.

Breaking News: (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200351)

US Warning of Child-Porn Blackmail Ransomware Remains Unheeded

US Gov. to proceed with CISPA anyway.

As night follows day (4, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200421)

Who couldn't see this coming? First, you make "looking at child porn" the worstest crime imaginable, like genocide against against a million nuns, worst than murder, worst than cannibalism, worst than, I don't know, eating fatty food, and then you...PROFIT!

Anybody want to bet that in the next few years (or less) we'll be hearing about some major politician who has (cue the somber, scary music...) looked at drawings of naked children.

"Is he right for America? We don't think so. Paid for by Americans for Families and Stopping Immoral Behavior among People Who are Different From Us."

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