A man from Romania has committed suicide after his computer got infected with “police ransomware,” according to a local media report.
Police ransomware is a common threat and many victims have been forced to pay bogus fines.
According to Braila 24, the local newspaper, Marcel Datcu, a 36-year old man from Movila Miressii, hanged himself and his 4-year old son. They both died strangled.
SoftPedia reports that the man left a suicide note for his wife which read:
- I don’t think it’s normal what I’ve done (…) I apologize to all of you (…) I received a warning that said I have to pay 70.000 lei or go to prison for 11 years (…) I don’t want Nicusor [the small boy who was killed] to suffer because of me (…) I can’t stand going to prison. I can’t!”
The fine the man was referring to was indeed a malware induced ransom. Apparently, after he visited some adult websites, his computer was infected with police ransomware which generated the warning.
Datcu considered the warning to be a real one and panicked. His panic led him to commit suicide.
Police ransomware generally ask for small ransoms or fine, around USD 200. However, in this particular case the amount was too huge and moreover what was surprising is that the man took it to be real.
There are various other types of ransomware malware quite prevalent. One type of ransomware encrypts files and holds them that way until a ransom is paid by the victim.
ICEPOL, another infamous malware, extorts its victims by sending them a message in any one of 25 languages accusing them of downloading copyrighted material or illegal poronography. It locks their desktop and demands ransom for unlocking it.
Time and again, experts have advised people to be careful of these cybercriminals. But this incident makes it clear that not everyone is aware about police ransomware!!!