Alert: “FBI Virus” Attack

FBI Virus AlertViruses that disable the normal functioning of your computer are an all-too-common problem, and in previous posts we’ve discussed how viruses invade your system and precautions you can take to avoid malware.  We would like to alert customers to one particularly nasty bug that we’ve been seeing a lot of lately at PC Ninja:  the Reveton virus, or, more commonly referred to as the FBI Virus.

What Happens with the FBI Virus:
Customers have reported that while surfing the web, their screen will freeze, the computer lock up, and various error messages appear.  After shutting off and restarting, the computer remains locked, and login cannot occur because frightening notices block your view.  These messages claim that the computer has been locked due to illegal online activity and that the only way to unlock the machine is to pay a fine via a prepaid card or money order.  If the user doesn’t send payment, the warning threatens that criminal charges will be filed and the screen remain locked.

It’s a SCAM!
These accusations are completely bogus; they have nothing to do with your online browsing and are certainly not generated by the FBI.  If you were involved in something illegal, a notice would not come as an error that freezes your computer, nor would the FBI overlook such activity upon receipt of a fee.  The frightening message is a scare tactic that virus creators use to try and scam money off of unfortunate victims, some of whom have actually paid the phony “fine”.  This virus can also be classified as a drive-by virus because you can contract it just by clicking on a compromised website while browsing the Internet, whereas other viruses often require the user to open a link or download a file, such as an e-mail attachment or music.  You won’t be able to tell if a website is risky, so just be careful with online surfing:  try to stick to sites you know and that look legitimate.

What to do:
Therefore, if you or anyone you know comes across disturbing errors like this on the computer, do not be overly alarmed.  Just be aware that you have contracted an annoying computer virus, but that the FBI is not investigating you or holding your computer for ransom.  Absolutely do not send money.  Turn off your computer and disconnect it from the Internet right away.  With a virus like this, it is best to take your machine to a computer specialist, who can remove all traces of this “ransomware” virus.  PC Ninja can help you with virus removals of all kinds, including the FBI Virus.

(As discussed on a WEEU radio broadcast 7/18/13.)


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