A true example of don’t believe everything you see on the internet. Last Thursday, the FBI issued a warning to all web users about a malware scheme that is trying to convince users it is the FBI. Known as the “Reveton ransonware,” it creates a pop up saying that it is the FBI and you need to pay a fine. The malware locks your computer instantly to frighten users into paying a “fine” to unlock their computers. .
“While browsing the Internet a window popped up with no way to close it,” one Reveton victim recently wrote to the IC3. “The window was labeled FBI and said I was in violation of one of the following: illegal use of downloaded media, under-age porn viewing, or computer-use negligence. It listed fines and penalties for each and directed me to pay $200 via a MoneyPak order.
Instructions were given on how to load the card and make the payment. The page said if the demands were not met, criminal charges would be filed and my computer would remain locked on that screen.”
“We’re getting inundated with complaints,” said Donna Gregory of the federal Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), in a statement on the FBI’s website. “Some people have actually paid the so-called fine.”
Another thing that is sending users to grab their wallets, one variant of Reveton “can even turn on computer webcams and display the victim’s picture on the frozen screen,” the FBI said.
The FBI also warns that once your screen locks, you will need to consult a professional to remove it. Even if you are able to unlock the screen, the malware can still run in the background of your system gathering your banking information, passwords, credit card numbers, etc.
If you find yourself the victim of the hoax, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center recommends the following
- Do not pay any money or provide any personal information.
- Contact a computer professional to remove it immediately.
- Be aware that even if you are able to unfreeze your computer on your own, the malware may still operate in the background.
- And, file a complaint and look for updates about the Reveton virus on the IC3 website.