SophosLabs researchers report that several German computer users were recently hit by a ransomware attack that locks computer screens, impersonates a warning from local law enforcement, and demands payment of a fine for viewing child pornography.

"Like other ransomware attacks, a message appears claiming to come from the police that says that evidence gathered proves that the computer has been used to view pornography involving minors," writes Sophos' Graham Cluley. "Unlike most attacks, however, the warning message also includes images of the purported sexual abuse of children, along with the minors' names, dates of birth and location."

To make it seem even more valid, the malware also displays the computer's IP address and Internet service provider, along with a live video image of the user from the infected PC's webcam.


As Cluley notes, the most prominent recent example of this type of ransomware was Reveton, for which 11 people were arrested in February of this year.