New malware strain locks up computers unless ransom is paid

A campaign of "ransomware" is locking people out of their computers unless they pony up the right amount of money.

Spotted by security blog, the malware taps into an exploit kit known as "Blackhole." Sold underground, Blackhole is used by criminals to infect computers through security holes in the browser or third-party plug-ins, such as Java and Adobe Reader.

If the version of Java, for example, is not up to date with the latest patches, the downloaded file will exploit the software's weakness by downloading the Trojan to the PC and then running … Read more hacked--and inadvertently spreads infection

Someone compromised the free-speech, antisurveillance repository and hid malware on the site that infected Web surfers over the weekend, reported.

A malicious PHP file was added to the site on Wednesday and a new directory was created that had logged nearly 3,000 IP addresses between Wednesday and Sunday, according to a post on the site.

The post said thousands of HTML files in the site's main directory were found to be contaminated with a malicious script that appeared to download exploits from the Blackhole Toolkit "that may compromise a computer though … Read more