Security Corner – Ransomware is Lurking

There's a threat to computers worldwide called Reveton, a virus that locks up computers and orders their users to pay a fine. Should this demand for money ever appear on your screen, don't pay it!

Reveton, described as "drive-by malware" because it can install itself when users simply click on a compromised website, infects and freezes a computer, then brings up a pop-up warning that says the FBI believes the individual's internet address is engaged in illegal activity, such as piracy. In some cases, the virus can hack into the user's webcam and display a snapshot of the user with the warning. The FBI says many victims of this malware have paid the fake charges.

The FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) unit suggests several steps for those who become infected:

  • Do not pay any money or give out personal information.
  • Contact a computer professional to remove Reveton from your computer.
  • Be aware that even users who unfreeze their computers may still be infected. Many types of malware will operate in the background to collect personal information such as passwords, usernames and financial data.
  • Check for updates about the Reveton virus on the IC3 website.

In addition to Reveton being difficult for many to completely get rid of, it isn't the only malware on the prowl. The FBI says Reveton is delivered through the Citadel toolkit - malware designed to compromise financial data.

About Dyan James

Dyan has been researching, writing, copyediting, and proofreading articles across a variety of industries since 1998. She further developed her interest and talent for covering technology while working with the guys at DCG Technical Solutions, Inc. Whether writing from scratch, copyediting or simply polishing, Dyan has mastered the art of turning rough copy or a plain idea into an eloquently written piece.

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