Ransomware’s new threat: if you don’t pay, we’ll publish your photos online

November 3, 2015 – 7:53 PM

The ‘scareware’ variant of the Chimera ransomware trojan has been spotted by the Cologne-based anti-botnet advisory centre, Botfrei (‘Botfree’).

The agency says Chimera is a classic blackmail trojan which is now targeting specific employees in German companies with fake emails about job applications or job offers.

The emails point them to a Dropbox address to get more information but if victims click on the link, Chimera instantly starts to encrypt their computer files and the data on their corporate network.

In an extra twist, Chimera also threatens to publish their photos and other personal information online if they fail to pay the 2.45 bitcoin (£450) ransom.

But in a 26 October blog, Botfrei says there is so far no evidence that the criminals have stolen or published any personal data, saying: “Fear and intimidation is their motivation.”

Independent security experts also see Chimera’s latest variant as “new and scary” but are divided on whether its promise to publish personal photos is a bluff.


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