Romania arrests five for spreading ransomware in Europe, US

Romania arrests five for spreading ransomware in Europe, US
© Getty Images

Romanian authorities have arrested five suspects allegedly spreading ransomware throughout Europe and the U.S.

The arrests were the summation of work in concert with Dutch, United Kingdom and U.S. authorities, with help coming from Europol and the cybersecurity firm McAfee.

Ransomware prevents a computer from functioning fully until a user pays a ransom. The type used in this case is known as CTB-Locker which, like most ransomware, encrypts a user's files, releasing them for a price.

ADVERTISEMENT

The five suspects are not believed to have designed the ransomware. Instead, they ran what amounted to a CTB-Locker franchise, paying the designers 30 percent of all of their proceeds.

The law enforcement effort was given the code name Bacovia, apparently named for the Romanian poet George Bacovia.

According to McAfee, CTB-Locker was the widest used family of ransomware in 2016.