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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 abuse.ch, 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