Welcome to bullyware: Malware gets more aggressive in money hunt

Summary:Fortinet is arguing that money making malware will take threats to a new level in 2013.

Cybercriminals are using malware to go beyond merely swiping passwords and actually "bullying infected users into paying," according to a Fortinet quarterly report on emerging threats.


Fortinet's fourth quarter report walks through the methods cybercriminals are using to extract dough from victims. The gist: Fortinet is arguing that money making malware will take threats to a new level in 2013.

To wit:

  • Simda.B poses as a Flash update, gets full installation rights and then swipes your passwords. Then email and social networking accounts spread spam, host malware and take money from online payment accounts.
  • FakeAlert.D is fake antivirus malware that harasses you into paying for protection, which also has to be a fraud.
  • Ransom.BE78 holds your personal data hostage. This ransomware installs itself and demand payment to be removed.
  • Zbot.ANQ is an offshoot of the Zeus virus. It takes your online bank login attempts, prods you to install mobile malware on your smartphone and then hijacks SMS messages from banks and transfers funds.

Overall, cybercrime is just becoming more confrontational. From a return perspective the move makes sense. The more you harass people the more they are likely to pay up.

Topics: Security, Legal


Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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