Beware of Ransomware

lock on keyboard

Most people heard about the hospital website that was hijacked and a ransom of over $3 million was demanded to restore it.

You may be wondering what happens.

Your computer screen freezes with a pop-up message—supposedly from the FBI or another federal agency—saying that because you violated some sort of federal law your computer will remain locked until you pay a fine. Or you get a pop-up message telling you that your personal files have been encrypted and you have to pay to get the key needed decrypt them.

This is an example of one of many ransomware scams, which involve a type of malware that infects computers and restricts users’ access to their files or threatens the permanent destruction of their information unless a ransom—anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars—is paid. This particular ransomware was call Cryptolocker.  The US Department of Justice managed to  “neutralize” Cryptolocker in December of last year. It’s Russian founder, Evgeniy Mikhailovich Bogachev, is on the FBI’s Cyber’s Most Wanted List. Accused of stealing $100 million, Bogachev spends his free time boating in the Black Sea, according to the FBI.

If you get a strange message like this, shut down your computer and click here call a virus removal specialist immediately because it can happen to anyone.