This week: Watch out! Part - 1
Two clients were hacked this last week; this is the first story:
This first hack is the scariest. My client was surfing the web when a screen popped up, locking her keyboard and PC. The top line read “System Failure” and a red triangle with an explanation point in it. The second line read “THE FBI FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION” with DOJ, FBI and Microsoft security logos. The third line read “All activities of this computer has (sic) been recorded. All your files are encrypted. Don’t try to unlock your computer.”
To paraphrase the rest of the pop up screen, the user had been subjected to violation of copyright and related rights laws by using or distributing copyrighted material. It goes on to say that to avoid prosecution and to release the PC requires sending a $450.00 GreenDot Money Pak within 72 hours to avoid prosecution. There is an icon to use to order the Money Pak. This is, of course, just a scam; our government would not use a third-party money wire service to collect funds, and only courts can impose fines. This is just to get $450.00 from you, but at least it does not ask for your credit card number, as so many of these scams do.
An interesting item is that this scam used the laptop’s camera to take a picture of my client and embed it in the pop-up, along with some very phony IP address and incorrect location information. I find this very interesting as although this FBI scam has been around for a long time, the timing is perfect, now that we are all worried about what the government knows about us. I would expect variations on this theme to include NSA, CIA, and Homeland Security warnings.
When you get one of these, shut your PC down immediately, press and hold the power button until your PC shuts down. Do not worry about shutting it down normally; if you wait, you may very well lose your data, and if you have a network with several PC’s on it, it could infect them. I did find information on this issue that may be helpful with other issues.
This PC had two user accounts, enabling me to log into the second account and use it to run antivirus programs that scan the entire hard drive and not just the user’s files and to clean the virus.
Next week, the other scary scam.
‘til next week
Robert - 360-497-3130 Cell
Please send your questions to
snail mail to:
P. O. Box 372
Randle, WA 98377
Index to Past ComputerFAQ Columns:
June 19, 2013 PC Money SCAN - READ THIS
June 12, 2013 CAUTION New Viruses AND Trojans
June 5, 2013 WIFI vs Cable
May 29, 2013 On-Line Help-BEWARE
May 22, 2013 Faxing With Multi-Function Printers
May 15, 2013 Scanners and Software
May 8, 2013 Battery Replacement May Be Necessary
May 1, 2013 Zombies Search Your Personal Info
April 24, 2013 Java and Adobe Updates NOT to be Ignored
April 17, 2013 Passwords And Email
April 10, 2013 Spring Cleaning-The Inside
April 3, 2013 Spring Cleaning for Your PC
March 27, 2013 Microsoft WORKS Great Substitute for Office
March 20, 2013 Windows 8 UPDATE
March 13, 2013 Helpful Equipment
March 6, 2013 Build Your Own PC
February 27, 2013 Build Your Own PC
February 20, 2013 More Help with Viruses
February 13, 2013 VIRUSes How Did I Get It?????
February 6, 2013 VIRUSes EXPECT A BAD YEAR!
January 23, 2013 Protect Your Computer from JAVA Vulnerability
January 16, 2013 Driver Update Managers
January 9, 2013 Unwanted Programs & Tools Bars
January 2, 2013 Randome Loss Of Interne
December 19, 2012 Recovery Disks
December 12, 2012 Warranty Service Part 2