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Scary computer extortion scheme is more popular than ever

Scary computer extortion scheme is more popular than ever
PHOTO COURTESY OF SHUTTERSTOCK

Ransomware attacks are on the rise, including a number of new scary cases. With ransomware, hackers take over your computer and won't give you access to it, until you pay them the money they're demanding.

These attacks are so serious that the FBI recently suggested that ransomware victims just pay up. Earlier this week, we told you about the secure email service ProtonMail was attacked and paid about $6,000 to the hackers. That amount of money isn't significant enough to be the primary reason for the attack.

More likely, these hackers are trying to send a message, that they can attack even the most secure systems. ProtonMail described the attack, which is likely state sponsored, as "unprecedented" in its level of sophistication.

Now, more email services are falling victim to similar distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, where hackers shut down websites for a few minutes or up to days at a time. Among the services now reporting being ransomware victims are FastMail, Hushmail, VFEMail, Runbox and others.

DDoS attacks can also shut down routers, like the one you use at home. These attacks can slow down your access to the Internet, or restrict your access to secure HTTPS-encrypted sites.

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Source: Ars Technica
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