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A New Computer Term – Ransomware

The FBI is watching you and your computer if you believe the lastest computer virus called ransomware.

A listener told Jim that while using his computer in a normal fashion the FBI logo suddenly appeared on the the screen with a message that he had broken a federal law and accuses the user of visiting sites with child porn and other illegal content. The computer freezes up and becomes unusable until a $200 “fine” was paid at the bottom of the page.

Screen shot of a computer infected with Ransomware.
Screen shot of a computer infected with Ransomware (Townsquare Media NJ)

Don’t believe it. The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center webpage says it’s a complete scam and a case of bank fraud.

According to PC World,

Reveton is a variant of the nasty Trojan known as Citadel malware that is based on Zeus, one of the oldest and most used online banking Trojans. The Citadel crimeware toolkit is now open sourced and is evolving and spreading rapidly, resulting in insidious new versions such as Reveton.”

The FBI warns that the “geographic location of the user’s IP address determines what payment services are offered. In addition to the ransomware, the Citadel malware continues to operate on the compromised computer and can be used to commit online banking and credit card fraud.”

Educate yourself further on Ransomware

What can you do? The easiest solution is to restore your computer back to a previous date. However, if you aren’t comfortable with making adjustments to your computer you should consult a trusted friend or repair professional.

Where to file ransomware complaints:

You can use this online form to file a ransomware complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center  or contact the FBI in Newark to file a complaint by calling (973) 792-3000.

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