Gamers Targeted by Ransomware Virus

Gamers are being targeted by a computer virus that stops them from playing their game unless they pay a ransom.

The malicious virus seeks out saved games and other files and encrypts them.

A key to then unlock the encrypted files is only supplied if victims pay at least £340 in Bitcoins.

The malware targets 40 separate games including Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Minecraft and World of Tanks.

The malicious virus looks similar to the Cryptolocker ransomware that caught out thousands of people over the last few years.

Analysis of the malware called Telascrypt reveals that it shares no code with Cryptolocker and appears to have been created by a different cybercrime group.

Vadim Kotov, researcher from security firm Bromium, said the file was catching people out via a website its creators had managed to compromise. The site involved is a WordPress blog that is inadvertently hosting a file that abuses a loophole in Flash to infect visitors.

Mr Kotov said once a machine is infected the malware looks for 185 different file extensions to exploit and in particular it seeks out files associated with many popular video games and online services such as Steam that give people access to them.

Mr Kotov said: "Interestingly, although these are all popular games, none of them matches any particular 'Top Sellers' or 'Most Played' chart.

"They could just be games the developer loves to play."

He said anyone who tries to outsmart the malware by uninstalling a game they obtained via an online service may end up disappointed.

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