Security software companies may be powerless to tackle a new generation of file-encrypting Trojans.
A report from security software firm Kaspersky Lab says public key encryption of up to 660-bit is already being used by the Gpcode malware family.
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Previously, this malware or "ransomware", used only 56-bit encryption, allowing security software to easily tackle it.
Trojans that encrypt data files on a user’s PC before demanding a payment in return for supplying the encryption key to unlock the files, are increasingly being spread over the internet by criminals.
Kaspersky claims however that it is able to unlock Trojans that use 660-bit encryption on behalf of its customers, but it has refused to share its solution with the rest of the industry.
Kaspersky warned though that even longer encryption algorithms could be used by criminals in the near future, meaning keys to unlock encrypted files might not be supplied to users within acceptable time limits.
Kaspersky said the focus for the software security industry now had to be to make sure that such ransomware did not make it to users’ PCs in the first place.
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