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This article was published on November 15, 2013


    The UK’s National Crime Agency warns of mass ransomware attack that takes your files hostage

    The UK’s National Crime Agency warns of mass ransomware attack that takes your files hostage
    Josh Ong
    Story by

    Josh Ong

    Josh Ong is the US Editor at The Next Web. He previously worked as TNW's China Editor and LA Reporter. Follow him on Twitter or email him a Josh Ong is the US Editor at The Next Web. He previously worked as TNW's China Editor and LA Reporter. Follow him on Twitter or email him at [email protected].

    The National Crime Agency in the UK has issued an alert warning citizens of a “mass spamming event” for a piece of malware called CryptoLocker that encrypts your files and then demands a ransom to restore access.

    According to the agency, tens of millions of customers, especially small and medium-sized businesses in the UK, have been targeted by the malicious emails. The attack, which appears to have surfaced in late October, takes over a machine’s files and then starts a countdown requiring victims to pay two Bitcoins to get their files back.

    “The NCA are actively pursuing organised crime groups committing this type of crime. We are working in cooperation with industry and international partners to identify and bring to justice those responsible and reduce the risk to the public,” Lee Miles, Deputy Head of the NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit said in the alert.

    Mass ransomware spamming event targeting UK computer users (NCA)

    Image credit: Ken Hurst / Shutterstock