Police Virus remains problem despite arrests

A new report from anti malware laboratory PandaLabs has indicated that the infamous Police Virus is still causing havoc in many parts of the world, despite the arrest of the criminals allegedly responsible for the ransomware attacks.

Earlier this month, Europol released an official statement that announced Spanish police had successfully broken up a prolific European cybercrime network reportedly responsible for the Police Virus.

11 individuals were arrested and charged for their part in spreading the malware, which was used to blackmail victims by masquerading as an official police notification and blocking access to essential programs.

However PandaLabs has released new findings suggesting that those arrested and charged may not have been the only group responsible for the spreading the Police Virus.

According to PandaLabs, the number of infections resulting from two of the malware families associated with the Police Virus has grown two fold since the arrest of the organisation's alleged ringleader in December 2012.

"This ransomware was netting profits in excess of $1.3 million per year," said Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs, in a statement released February 21.

"However, the number of infections keeps growing, which leads us to think that we are facing an unspecified number of groups launching the same kind of attacks."

The news is a reminder of the fact that no matter what progress authorities may make in arresting malicious cyber criminals, there will likely always be those who are willing to take their place for financial gain.

Australian organisations concerned about the risk of malware infection or of being targeted by cybercriminals should therefore consider undergoing a Red Cell ethical hacking evaluation.

An ethical hacking evaluation is one of the best ways for an enterprise to maximise vulnerability management and ensure that it is doing its part to mitigate the risk of a cybersecurity incident and protect customer information.

You can read more about the Police Virus ransomware on the PandaLabs blog by clicking here.

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