• Ransom.AN, belonging to the ransomware category of malware, asks victims to pay 100 euros for code to free their devices

PandaLabs, the anti-malware laboratory of Ukulele (uke Lessons From Ukulelebuddy.com

f=”http://pandasecurity.lin3sdev.com/”>Panda Security,The Cloud Security Company, has detected a new ransomware Trojan that pretends to come from Microsoft. The Trojan, dubbed Ransom.AN, alerts the user that their copy of Windows is illegal and threatens to cripple their device if they don’t enter a specific code, which the user will be provided after paying 100 euros.

The malware, specifically targeting German-speaking users, can be distributed in many ways including through spam and P2P downloads. After alerting the user that their copy of Windows is not legitimate, it invites victims to pay for the code with their credit card via a malicious website. To further encourage users to submit their financial information, Ransom.AN informs users that prosecution will take action if they don’t make payment in 48 hours, after which the user will also lose all their computer information.

“These types of Trojans are very dangerous because once they infect the computer it is extremely difficult to remove manually, forcing users to pay the ransom or reformat their devices,” says Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs. Continues Corrons, “In addition, because Ransom.AN appears to come from Microsoft and threatens actions from authorities, many users believe what the Trojan says and make the payment out of fear.”

To stay protected against Ransom.AN and other threats, PandaLabs recommends all computer users have updated protection installed on their computers, such as the free Panda Cloud Antivirus, which can be downloaded from www.cloudantivirus.com.

More information about Ransom.AN is available on the PandaLabs blog