Romania Ransomware to Blame for Father and Son Suicide
An example of Romanian ransomware which claims to be from the police but is in fact the work of cyber-criminals looking to scare innocent users into paying a ransom.

A man who found his computer infected with ransomware demanding payment of £13,000 or face jail decided to take his own life and that of his four-year-old son.

The report of the tragic incident comes from the small Romanian commune of Movila Miresii which is made up of three small villages and located in Brăila County in the east of the country.

Local paper Braila24 reports that Marcel Datcu, 36, hanged himself in the living room of his home along with his four-year-old son Nicusor.

Suicide note

The report claims a suicide note left to his wife explained that the reason for taking his own life was:

"I received a warning [on my computer] that said I have to pay 70.000 lei [£13,000] or go to prison for 11 years."

The note also says: "I don't think it's normal what I've done...I apologise to all of you...I don't want Nicusor to suffer because of me...I can't stand going to prison. I can't."

According to the sources close to the police investigation who spoke to Braila24, the warning came from ransomware which had infected Datcu's computer after he had visited some adult websites.

Investigators believe the presence of ransomware was the reason why Datcu decided to take his own life and that of his son.

Ransomware

Ransomeware is a pernicious for of malware which can infect your computer through spam emails or malicious websites.

Once downloaded onto your computer, ransomware typically locks down your system and throws up a message which claims to be from some law enforcement agency. Cyber-criminals have become adept in recent years at tailoring the malware to look like it comes from local law enforcement agencies depending on which country you are in.

While ransomware varies, the message typically claims to have found some illegal material on your computer ranging from child abuse images to pirated films or music.

The ransomware gives you two choices, pay a fine or face time in jail.

The report claims that the ransomware was looking for 70,000 lei (£13,000) in payment to avoid going to jail, but this is much higher than typical ransomware demands which are usually less than £200.