Microsoft has warned users about a new ‘ransomware' scam in which hackers are using pop-up notifications pretending to be from law enforcement agencies in order to extort money from users.
In a blog post Microsoft informed that the scam was quite elaborate as it was localised in several languages including English, Spanish, German, and Dutch.
The pop-up messages pretend to be from European law enforcement agencies and look pretty authentic as they use the official seal of each organisation. The agencies that are being used by hackers include The German Federal Police, GEMA (Germany's performance rights organization), The Swiss "Federal Department of Justice and Police", The UK "Metropolitan Police", The Spanish Police, and The Dutch Police.
Users get infected with malware by opening a malicious spam email or visiting a malicious website. As soon as the malware takes effect, a pop-up message, appearing to be from a law enforcement agency, claims that it has found evidence of illegal activities like child pornography and exchanging emails with known terrorist groups.
Users are threatened that if they don't pay a fine within 24 hours via services like Paysafecard or Ukash or have their hard drives erased.