This is a brief dispatch from the trenches. Since my TechnoRant© on Ransomware back on October 9th, a few instances have been observed of a variant that I’ve nick-named “bluffware”. Bluffware will display the ransom note saying that your hard drive has been encrypted and if you want the decryption key, you’ll need to put your credit card information in a brown paper bag and e-mail it to wherever.

The funny thing is that your hard drive is NOT encrypted and if you’re foolish enough to send the money, you’ll definitely get nothing in return. This is apparently the work of bad guys who don’t have the necessary smarts or malware code to encrypt your hard drive but nonetheless want to cash in on the latest trend.

While bluffware is more a hoax than anything else, the reality is that the malware responsible for the hoax has somehow made its way on to your system and that is no laughing matter. Your system has been infected and you need to get rid of this bit of nastiness as soon as possible. There is no way of you knowing if the bluffware is dropping some other malicious code on your system in the meantime.

It’s up to you to do everything you can in advance to prevent this for making its way on to your system in the first place and being prepared to deal with the situation if it does. I won’t repeat the recommended steps here. If you want to know what to do, take a look at the original post concerning ransomware.

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