This week’s alert is a doozy:
This is an old trick with a new twist. Scammers have been using malware to take computers hostage for years. This latest trick is a really low blow: a popup window, appearing to be from the FBI, accuses you of viewing child p0rn and demands you pay $300 in fines. It locks up your computer and doesn’t let you do anything until you’ve paid, and even then you’re computer might not work.
Check this story from a Denver television station:
As usual, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Make sure you have a robust anti-virus software on your computer, and that it up to date. I really like ESET NOD32 and Kaspersky Lab’s versions. You can also use the free Spybot Search and Destroy to remove spyware and adware from your computer (I bet you’ll see an immediate increase in speed and performance when using this). Also, stay away from sites that might considered bad neighborhoods (ie pornography, pirated videos, etc.) as they are known distributors of malware like this one.
If you do get the malware and get your computer locked up, your best bet is to take it to a local computer expert, odds are they will be able to restore your computer and clean up the malware.