Computer medics have been receiving numerous call regarding a ransomware infection, known as the FBI Virus, that targets computer users in the United States. The FBI Virus infection will claim that the victim’s computer was involved in viewing child pornography and then demands payment of a $200 to $400 ‘fine’ to be sent via Money order or enter a voucher code. Of course, that a criminal charge as serious as child pornography would be punished with a mere couple hundred dollar fine is a joke. There is a reason for this, the FBI Virus is not really from the FBI. Rather, this message is actually part of a common malware scam.
The FBI Virus scam will use a “Winlocker”, that is, a malware infection that locks down Windows, preventing the user from connecting to the infected computer. The FBI message will claim that the FBI has blocked your computer because of the supposed criminal activities mentioned above and threatens to prosecute and block your access to your computer permanently unless you send them money. It goes on to say that you only have 48 hours to pay before they initiate legal proceedings that could lead to huge fines and possible jail time.
This intrusive message blocks the whole screen and resembles an Internet Explorer window. The FBI message is caused by a Trojan infection that also blocks access to the Windows Task Manager, Command Prompt, Desktop and other components that could potentially help you bypass this intrusive message. Fortunately, the FBI Virus scam is not particularly sophisticated or complicated to remove and, of course, FBI message has no relationship with the actual FBI (so you can relax about supposedly being in trouble with the law). The FBI Virus scam is a simple variant of a very common malware scam known as the Ukash Virus. The Ukash Virus mainly targets European computer systems. If you replace ‘FBI’ it is the same basic scam.
Dealing with the FBI Virus Scam
The FBI Virus is not difficult to remove. In fact, manual removal is simply a matter of removing its associated Windows Registry Entry and associated files. The main problem is gaining access to your computer system in the first place. To do this, Computer Medics recommend either starting Windows in Safe Mode or from an external memory device. From there, most reliable malware programs should be able to remove the FBI Virus with ease.