There are some sick people out there, people that try to take advantage of poor souls that do not know and understand computers. Today I happened upon a friends computer that had this strange image posted up on his screen. Once you start up the computer you are unable to access task manager or exit out of the program. Essentially the computer is locked down tight, and this particular virus can infect your entire network.
What is it? You might ask, or perhaps you know. This warning is not real, it is fake, it is a virus called Ransomware. Ransomware first showed up in 1989, in which it would have you send $189 to a P.O. Box in Panama. Today ransomware has you pay with a non-traceable MoneyPak card.
NBC Washington recently reported that ransomware has done some good, tricking Jay Matthew Riley, 21, of Woodbridge, Virginia, a child abuse image collector from the United States into turning himself in. Ransomware tells the user that they have been using their computers for illegal activities and that they can pay a nominal fee to make it all go away. Riley hauled his computer down to a local police department turning himself in. Police then looked over his computer finding images of underage girls, which warranted a search of his home. Police found several devices, which had more illegal images. Riley is currently being held without bail.
So if you see this image or an image like it pop up on your computer, you can check out Microsoft’s official website for tips on how to protect yourself, as well as removing this nasty software. But if you are an online law breaker, make sure you grab your computer and take it down to the local police department and save us all the trouble.