The Null Device
The latest malware won't merely spew ads at you or use your Windows PC as a zombie to send spam: it will encrypt your files and demand a ransom for the key:
Stewart managed to unlock the infected computer files without paying the extortion, but he worries that improved versions might be more difficult to overcome. Internet attacks commonly become more effective as they evolve over time as hackers learn to avoid the mistakes of earlier infections.
"The problem is getting away with it -- you've got to send the money somewhere," Stewart said. "If it involves some sort of monetary transaction, it's far easier to trace than an e-mail account."Perhaps future versions will demand that the users donate CPU cycles/network bandwidth instead of money? Then again, those are easy enough to steal without extortion.