Illegal download sites quickly distribute bitcoin ransomware disguised as Windows updates. Today, individuals and students pay the price with the Magniber program hidden in these fake updates.
It goes without saying that no one should download Windows updates from any source other than Microsoft. Recently, updates to the latest Redmond company OS from third-party sources spreading the Magniber ransomware have been identified. Result: unsuspecting users who downloaded Windows 10 via these dubious sources received ransom demands in bitcoins.
Security specialists at BleepingComputer spotted the problem, with forum users reporting the infection after installing self-reported W10 updates from illegal ‘warez’ repositories. These sites offer pirated or cracked versions of paid software and are known to be easy targets for those who want to spread malware. The Magniber program hidden in these fake updates encrypts targeted parts of the user’s hard drive and then demands an anonymous transfer of bitcoins worth approximately $2,600 (€2,472) to recover the files. The price increases if the victim waits more than a few days, and there is no known solution to free the files without touching the wallet.
Individuals in the crosshairs
According to BleepingComputer, the malware download campaign targets individuals and students, which makes it particularly dangerous in terms of fallout. Again, it’s about making sure that software and updates come from the right place, and a good data backup can’t hurt. For those who want to check for Windows updates from Windows 10, open the Start menu, select the gear icon to open the Settings app, then select Update & Security > Windows Update > Search updates.