Online payment provider CashU warns Middle East PC users against potential increase in malware threats

Press release
Published May 12th, 2013 - 05:01 GMT

Leading regional online payment provider CashU has warned Middle East PC users to remain diligent and protect their PCs with up to date antivirus and antimalware software in light of the recent malicious attacks across the region. The virus prompts users with an onscreen message that their PC is locked and asks users to send a set amount of money via CashU service to have their PC unlocked.  

“While CashU service has not been interrupted nor has the integrity of our customers’ information been breached, CashU believes that similar malware attacks will continue to target Middle East users as the virus continues to spread,” said Omar Soudodi, acting CEO of CashU. “These phishing attacks are primarily targeting PC users with the aim of collecting private information such as user data, financial and password information. Unfortunately the CashU brand was used by the attackers to defraud unwitting PC users because of its wide appeal in over 40 countries and it is a popular online payment system among thousands of online merchants across the globe.” 

The malware virus infects computers by locking the screen and asking the user to pay a ransom via CashU service to unlock it.  This security threat is called ‘ransomware’ and has been targeting PC users across the region with documented attacks in Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar as well as the Levant.  Cyber criminals use the malware to send a deceptive message to unwitting users posing as a legitimate notice from a respected  authority that their PC is blocked because they committed a crime such as downloading pirated content or browsing illicit websites.  Users are asked to pay a non-existent fine to unlock their PC, enabling the cyber criminals to both gain access to private user information while defrauding users and stealing their money.  

Users who have been affected or suspect that malware has been unknowingly installed on their PC can regain control of their PC by following instructions provided by CashU on its website:

“We are working on hindering those criminals while working with various anti-virus vendors to protect online users from getting infected,” added Soudodi. “CashU is one of the safest and most convenient ways to make online purchases without compromising the integrity of credit card or user bank information, and we continue to develop and deploy innovative online payment services to make online transactional security threats a thing of the past.” 

Established in 2002, cashU is a payment service provider catering to the online payment needs of the Middle East and North Africa but serving global and regional online merchants with a complete suite of payment solutions custom built to cater to the local Arabic culture and its online buying habits & trends. Its management team is the region’s most experienced online payment experts with a solid background from regional and international banking, credit card processing, alternative payment solutions and online monetization and marketing industries. 

Today, CashU serves online shoppers in all Arabic speaking and surrounding countries with secure, accessible and easy to use payment solutions that enable anyone to buy online without discriminating on age, income, nationality or bankability. 

Background Information


CASHU is a safe and secure online payment method that was established in 2002 by It is considered the first and the largest in the MENA region, serving nearly 2.3 million consumers with accessible and easy solutions to pay online.

CASHU is available at over 75,000 of credible and approachable vendors spread across every country and city within the MENA region, CASHU has made it easy to consumers to fund their CASHU accounts and shop online from merchants who accept CASHU as a payment method.

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