State authorities in Florida on Thursday announced criminal charges targeting three men who allegedly ran illegal businesses moving large amounts of cash in and out of the Bitcoin virtual currency. Experts say this is the first case in which Bitcoin vendors have been prosecuted under state anti-money laundering laws, and that prosecutions like these could smother one of the last remaining avenues for purchasing Bitcoins anonymously.
Over the past several weeks, a handful of frantic Microsoft Windows users have written in to ask what they might do to recover from PC infections from “CryptoLocker,” the generic name for an increasingly prevalent and nasty strain of malicious software that encrypts your files until you pay a ransom. Unfortunately, the answer for these folks is usually either to pay up or suck it up. This post offers a few pointers to help readers avoid becoming the next victim.