Email Virus: Don’t Pay the Ransom! (It will only make things worse.)

Authorities locally and nationwide are cautioning Internet users of a new trend in computer viruses known as “ransomware,” which take control of victims’ computers and demand a ransom to restore the users’ data. They have different names, such as Reveton or Crypto Locker, and they attempt to extort money from victims by encrypting or blocking access to their data without their knowledge, then demanding a ransom in order to undo the damage, according to police and FBI officials…

In August, the FBI issued a similar warning regarding a ransomware virus known as “Reveton,” which scams victims by purporting to be an official message from the FBI. Reveton is known as a piece of “drive-by” malware because “unlike many other viruses, which activate when users open a file or document, this one can install itself when users simply click on a compromised website,” FBI officials warned in a statement. Once a computer is infected, it immediately locks and displays a message stating there has been a violation of federal law, according to the FBI. “The bogus message goes on to say 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 activity,” the statement continued, “To unlock their machines, users are required to pay a fine using a prepaid money card service.”…

(A)nyone who experiences ransomware should contact the authorities and use a professional to remove the software. A person should never attempt to pay the ransom… Once you’ve given your credit card to cyber criminals, the problems are going to continue… A criminal may sell the credit card number online or use it fraudulently themselves… 

Full story at http://www.dailynews.com/general-news/20131008/officials-warn-of-ransomware-computer-viruses

Note: Backing up your data regularly will help.  

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