WARNING The computer virus that blackmails you

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WARNING The computer virus that blackmails you

Postby glassblower » Tue Dec 15, 2015 1:50 pm

Found this on todays BBC News website, it is quiet true as a friend of mine (a while back) had this happen to him. He got the Virus on his Samsung Tablet and couldn't get rid of it, i have come across this Virus before (several years ago). I told him it was a "SCAM" and he brought the Tablet to me and we reset it to "Factory Settings" this (as far as I know) is the only way (on Tablets) to get rid of it.

If you go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-35091714

you can read the full article, I am just picking up the highlights in it.

Ransomware is the fastest growing form of computer malware, experts warn.

It's a malicious virus that locks the user out of their computer and demands a fee to return their files.

"For the most part, we've seen ransomware delivered through drive-by downloads - it pretends to be a popular app, increasing the chances that you'll click on it," he explains.

"To avoid these threats, users should be very careful about what apps they install, and where they come from - read the reviews on Google Play, and avoid side-loading from untrusted sources."

Once the computer is effectively locked down, it demands a fee - often in bitcoins because it is less easy to trace - for the return of the files.

The fee is generally one or two bitcoins - the equivalent of about $500 (£330).

It is less common now, but in the earlier days of the malware - about five years ago - the ransom note could take the form of a law enforcement notice.

The user was directed to a web page that appeared to be from, for example, the FBI, falsely claiming illegal images of children had been been found on the machine and a fine was payable.

There is generally a time limit to comply, after which the ransom increases.

"You could risk paying them - but it's a bit like paying a blackmailer. We would only recommend it as a last resort.

"You don't know whether they'll come back for more, you don't know that they'll clear the infection."

Cybersecurity expert Prof Alan Woodward says paying also leaves you vulnerable to further cybercrime.

"As soon as you pay up, you get on a suckers' list and you'll probably get contacted again," he says.

Ransomware is lucrative for criminals because so many victims pay rather than face the shame of false accusations

Recent research by Palo Alto Networks and industry partners suggested one family of ransomware known as Crypto Wall had generated about $325m (£215m) for the gang behind it.

I hope nobody get the Virus, but, at least you now know it's a "Scam"

Cheers Ken.
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