First Gaelic-language malware discovered by Irishman

A few Irish eyes are probably crying this week, since a new strain of malware now features the Gaelic language.

Dubbed Gaeilge, the ransomware locks up an infected computer and demands €100 (£80) for an unlock code.

The software was discovered on a computer in County Donegal, Ireland, according to The Register, which reported that the virus' demand for cash appeared in poorly written Gaelic.

Gaeilge tells computer users that attempts to access online pornography sent it into shut-down mode.

However, instead of giving in to the monetary request, the victim took the compromised machine to the repair store, The Register said.

Techie2u computer technician Brian McGarvey told the Donegal Daily that in his 12 years in the business, he has never seen a virus written in the Irish language.

"It's quite a sophisticated and convincing scam," McGarvey said, adding that its Irish flag logo looks quite official. "To someone who didn't have good Irish it looks very legitimate."

The IT specialist presumed the hacker used an unreliable translator, because only about 60 per cent of the virus makes sense in Irish. "However, it looks good enough to scare people and some people might be inclined to hand over some money to have the computer unlocked," McGarvey stated.

Actually handing over the funds wouldn't actually help though, according to McGarvie, as the scammers won't actually unlock the computer, but instead just take the money via international transfer, and run.

"People could not unlock it themselves but it can be unlocked by a computer technician," McGarvey added.