SOPA. The dearly beloved antipiracy bill
was quashed before it reared its ugly head and became signed into U.S. law. It only took months of worldwide protests, tech media outrage, site blackouts
and the occasional satirical video or two.
A huge sigh of relief spread through the technology community when the bill was discarded
-- at least for the moment. However, enterprising virus developers have piggybacked on the fear that copyright infringement and court cases produce for the general public -- using the recognizable SOPA branding to lure victims into parting with their hard-earned cash.
The so-called SOPA cryptovirus which warns users that their IP address is on a copyright infringement blacklist has been discovered. The 'ransomware' holds a computer hostage, warning that unless a victim hands over money, data will be wiped. U.S. and Canadian victims have to pay via a MoneyPak prepaid voucher, whereas others have to use Western Union.
Once accused of distributing illegal files, infected users are told they must pay $200 within three days.