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New Ransomware on the Loose

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008 by | Filed Under: Security Help

New Ransomware on the Loose

I’m sorry to be the one to break this to you, but I have some bad news on the security front today. Do you remember a few months ago when I wrote about ransomware? Ransomware is basically a virus that takes over your computer and demands you to pay the creator of the virus for a code that will bring your data back. Most of the time, viruses like that are more bark than bite. They’re usually fixed rather quickly by antivirus companies that figure out the codes needed to unlock your data. Well, at least that was the case up until now.

Just last week, researchers at Kaspersky found a new ransomware virus that is on the loose and is very dangerous. The virus is called Gpcode.ak and it’s a type of ransomware that has no fix as of yet. Gpcode.ak will infect your computer and encrypt all of your personal files with a 1024 bit security key. Kaspersky has said that it would take a supercomputer to figure out the code for this one.

People who are infected with Gpcode.ak will see a screen that says something like this: “Your files are encrypted with a RSA-1024 algorithm. To recover your files, you need to buy our decryptor. To buy our decrypting tool, contact us at ********”

As I mentioned above, there is currently no fix for this virus, but if your computer becomes infected with it, you can help! Kaspersky is asking for anyone infected with the virus to contact them immediately. That way, they can use your experience to try and find a solution for this nasty virus.

Now, if you become infected, Kaspersky is asking you to do the following:

Contact the Kaspersky Lab using another computer connected to the Internet. Do not restart or power down the potentially infected machine.

E-mail Kaspersky at with the following information included:

  • Date and time of infection.

  • Everything done on the computer in the five minutes before the machine was infected, including programs executed and Web sites visited.

The Kaspersky Lab will then try to recover any encrypted data.

Kaspersky analysts are continuing to analyze the virus code in search of a way to decrypt the files without having the private key. Until a solution is found, it’s recommended that your anti-malware programs are set to their maximum security and that extra care is taken while browsing the Internet and reading your e-mail. Until next time, stay safe out there, my friends!

~ Gary

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