Monday, August 13, 2012

FBI Warning "freezing" Your Computer?

Caution, the latest scam out there purports to be from the FBI. It is not!

In this warning the FBI states that:
There is a new “drive-by” virus on the Internet, and it often carries a fake message—and fine—purportedly from the FBI.

“We’re getting inundated with complaints,” said Donna Gregory of the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), referring to the virus known as Reveton ransomware, which is designed to extort money from its victims.

Reveton is described as drive-by malware because unlike many viruses—which activate when users open a file or attachment—this one can install itself when users simply click on a compromised website. Once infected, the victim’s computer immediately locks, and the monitor displays a screen stating there has been a violation of federal law.
The bogus message goes on to say that the user’s Internet address was identified by the FBI or the Department of Justice’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section as having been associated with child pornography sites or other illegal online activity. To unlock their machines, users are required to pay a fine using a prepaid money card service.
Mostly the fake message states that your computer was used for "illegal use of downloaded media, under-age porn viewing, or computer-use negligence". Naturally none of that is true.

It is a fairly primitive scam but quite a few people seem to be driven by their bad conscience to pay. They are out of some money and they have handed their credit card info directly to the crooks!

No US government agency would ask a perpetrator online to directly pay a fine. In the US you would get indicted in a court of law. "Direct payment" happens only in high corruption countries and/or under dictatorships; it's called a bribe.

The nasty thing with this virus is that the home user generally does not have the technical expertise to remove this nasty piece of software; you will have to call a competent technician.

My customers know who to call; do you?

As usual I welcome comments and suggestions right here in the blog. Thank you in advance.
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