A cybercrime ring netting over one million euros a year has been cracked by Europol. Eleven people from Russia, Georgia and Ukraine have been arrested.
Warnings which appeared to have come from the police in a user’s country appeared on the screen. The virus issued false threats. One claimed the user was under investigation for accessing child pornography and demanded a fine to unblock the computer.
“We have identified the issue across more than 30 countries, mostly European. In only three percent of the cases have people fallen victim to this scam and have paid that fine,” explained Rob Wainwright Director of Europol.
The ransomware scam as it is known was first detected in May 2011 and is believed by Europol to have infected, “tens of thousands” of computers worldwide.
Ten of those arrested were detained by Spanish police in the Mediterranean. The Russian head of the crime network was arrested in Dubai in December.