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Ransomware: Scamsters now target senior citizens living alone in Kolkata | Kolkata News | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

KOLKATA: At least four divisional cyber cells of Kolkata Police – located in south, southeast, south suburban and southwest – have received complaints from woman victims, all aged above 70 years.
Victims claim to have received emails informing them their devices have been hacked. The scammers demand a significant ransom, typically in bitcoin, to prevent the compromise of their device systems through virus attacks. The ransom emails warn users that their confidential information will be misused if they fail to pay.
The emails consistently include links to websites dealing in bitcoin. “The accused exploit the limited knowledge of cryptocurrency among senior citizens, hoping to instil fear and prompt payment. They often target individuals whose children are settled abroad, giving the impression that the virus will hinder communication with their children,” an investigating officer said. On Monday, cops filed a GD when a 73-year-old woman was asked to pay $600. Fearing the situation, she deleted the email and reset her devices. “The process of filing an FIR has begun,” an officer said.
“We’ve spoken to all the victims and checked for any parallel account logs. The victims have been advised to use strong antivirus software. We recommend that everyone check their Google account activity for any suspicious logs and immediately report any malpractices to us,” advised a senior cyber cell official.
The police urge victims to understand that the attackers have only sent threatening emails and have not yet launched an actual ransom attack. “This could be a pressure tactic, but we will contact bitcoin exchanges to gather more information about the perpetrators,” an officer said.
A cyber expert and special public prosecutor, Bivas Chatterjee, said, “Ransomware attacks involve hackers locking your computer systems or encrypting your data, demanding extortion money. If you refuse to pay the ransom, they will not decrypt the data and may even sell your valuable information.”


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