A new version of the Homeland Security virus has been detected recently. If you are currently facing a lock screen saying this computer has been blocked under the name of Homeland Security, be aware and get rid of it completely upon sight as instructed in this article.
Like its previous version, this Homeland Security virus is another ransomware threatening online users, mainly in United States. It uses trojans to infect machine with potential system vulnerabilities and once it takes the Windows system, it will block you out of the entire Windows system and then instead display a screen locker that pretends to be an alert from the US Department of Homeland Security National Cyber Security Division, saying that you have been distributing copyrighted media, child pornography and using unlicensed software. And thus you are demanded a fee of $300 in order to avoid criminal prosecution. To perform the payment, you must send in a Monepak voucher within 48 hours to unlock. It is significant to bear in mind that this is a computer infection and the ransom is not a fine by a legitimate government agency.
Regardless of its crafted background and specified articles of law violation activities, it is a computer virus infection with ransom tricks and has nothing to do with the decent authorities as it claims. Everyone should be alerted and under no circumstances should you pay the ransom to unlock as it tries to mislead to do so.
The Screenshot of Homeland Security Virus Lock Screen
The scam message that the lock screen of Homeland Security virus bears:
National Cyber Security Division
This computer has been blocked!
The work of your computer has been suspended on the grounds of the violation of the law of the United States of America.
Article – 184 Pornography involving children (under 18 years)
Imprisonment for the term of up to 10-15 years
(The use or distribution of pornographic files)
Article – 171 Copyright
Imprisonment for the the term of up to 2-5 years
(The use or sharing of copyrighted files)
Article – 113 The use of unlicensed software
Imprisonment for the term of up to 2 years
(The use of unlicensed software)
The first violation may not entail the criminal liability if the payment of the fine would be executed in connection with the law of loyalty to the people, on 1 March 2013. If repeated violations occur, the prosecution is inevitable.
To unlock the computer you are obliged to pay a fine of $300. You must pay a fine by MoneyPak.
You have 48 hours to pay the fine. |If the fine has not been paid, you will become the subject of criminal prosecution without the right to pay the fine. The Department for the Fight against Cyberactivity will confiscate your computer and take you to court.
Whenever you are facing such a message, ignore it and remove it upon sight as instructed in below removal guide.
1. You are totally blocked out of the system every time you start the machine.
2. Instead, there will come up a lock screen that bearing the logos of Interpol as well as other local authorities, saying that your computer has been blocked due to some safety reasons associated with online illegal activities.
3. If you try to reboot the system to safe mode operation for troubleshooting, then you will fail in most cases since the safe mode running is forbidden as well due to the infection.
Typically, a computer would get infected with this rasnomware when you are browsing web sites that have been hacked to contain exploit kits which will then use vulnerabilities found on your computer to install the infection without your permission or knowledge. Once installed, the Homeland Security Ransomware will start automatically when you login to your computer and will then display the above screen locker so that you are unable to access your system.
Besides, this ransomware can also be distributed through spam email with embedded malicious links or attachments, as well as on infected peer-to-peer shared files.
> 1. Timely update the system with the latest patches released by Microsoft.
> 2. Update all installed software to latest version for security consideration.
> 3. Be very careful when surfing online. Basically you are supposed to ensure turn on the security features of your web browser. See detailed instructions to turn on Security Features of IE, firefox and Chrome.
> 4. Take care when opening a link or an attachment in an email from unknown people.
> 5. Regardless of all, the best bet to protect computer is still security programs like Antivirus and antimalware. Please note that no security program can be against 100% threats and thus you may need a supplement one if you already have a trusted antivirus. Here we recommend you the antimalware Anvi Smart Defender for that security purpose. Check it out for more by downloading and using:
Most-spread Ransomware Infections 2013:
FBI Moneypak virus, Department of Justice Moneypak virus, FBI CyberCrime Division virus, Your Computer Has Been Blocked virus, Relodit virus, ICE Cyber Crime Center Moneypak virus, United States Courts virus, FBI “System Failure” virus, International Cyber Security Protection Alliance virus, Spamhaus Moneypak virus, Joint Chiefs of Staff Moneypak virus, Moneygram virus, Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section CCIPS virus, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Moneypak virus, FBI Cybercrime Division ICSPA virus, United States Cyber Security virus, FBI Department of Defense virus, Mandiant U.S.A. Cyber Security virus, International Police Association ( I.P.A ) virus, Ministry of Public Safety Canada virus (a.k.a. Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police virus), Royal Canadian Mounted Police virus, Ministry of Public Safety Canada virus, AFP Ukash virus, AMCA, ACC ransomware, Internet Police Department virus, PCeU virus, Cheschire Police Authority virus, Europol Interpol virus, United Kingdom Police virus, Serious (Serios) Organised Crime Agency virus,Guardians of the Peace of Ireland Garda virus, Centre for Critical Infrastructure Protection (CCIP) virus, New Zealand e-Crime lab virus, Arma dei Carabinieri virus, Polícia de Segurança Publica Portuguese Virus, NSA Internet Surveillance Program PRISM virus, Interpol Department of Cybercrime virus, FBI Anti-Piracy Warning Moneypak virus, Child Pornography computer blocked virus, PRISM Your Computer Has Been Locked virus, Metropolitan British Police Interpol virus, etc.
Most ransomware exploits Java or Flash vulnerabilities to load the malicious code. In some cases denying or disabling flash on your system may suspend some of the Homeland Security –This Computer Has Been Blocked ransomware and enable the user to navigate through the infected system.
If this not a necessity for removal, skip to the removal options below these steps. To disable (deny) flash
2. Select the “Deny” radio option
3. Proceed to a removal option (detailed below).
How to Remove Homeland Security –This Computer Has Been Blocked Virus (Ransomware Removal Guide)
This tutorial suits the removal of Ukash, PaysafeCard, MoneyPak and CashU ransomware.
Generally there are two situations when your computer got infected with this ransomware. One is that you can still boot your computer to safe mode and the another one is not. According to this, there are two removal options for each situation for you to choose.
- Option 1- Safe Mode with Command Prompt Restore
- If your computer can still be booted into safe mode, and the system restore points are not deleted by the infection, you can choose this option for the ransomware removal.
- Option 2-Remove the Ransomware Using Anvi Rescue Disk
- This method is the final solution for deep infection that you computer system is totally blocked from even the safe mode running or all system restore points are deleted by the infection.
Removal Option 1-Safe Mode with Command Prompt Restore
Step 1> Launch your PC into Safe Mode with Command Prompt.
Remove all floppy disks, CDs and DVDs from your computer, and restart. During the start, keep pressing F8 key till the Advanced Windows Options Menu shows up and then use the arrow key on the keyboard to highlight the Safe Mode with Command Prompt option and then press Enter. See detailed instructions on how to boot Windows to Safe Mode
Note: make sure you login your computer with administrative privileges. (login as admin)
Step 2> Type explorer to access
Once the Command Prompt window appears you only have few seconds to type “explorer” and hit Enter. If you fail to do so within 2-3 seconds, the ransomware virus will not allow you to type anymore.
Step >3 Once Windows Explorer shows up browse to:
- Win XP: C:\windows\system32\restore\rstrui.exe and press Enter
- Win Vista/7/8: C:\windows\system32\rstrui.exe and press Enter
Step 4> Restore
Follow all steps to restore or recover your computer system to an earlier time and date (restore point), before infection.
Please note that chances are this virus may delete all of your stored restore points and then you may need to switch to option 2 to try the troubleshoot now.
Step 5> Scan bad leftovers and restart
Download, install, update and run the antimalware Anvi Smart Defender (direct download: www.dotfab.com/download_asd.html) to scan out and remove the bad leftovers in case it turns back. And then restart the computer to ensure the computer is all right.
BTW: after the virus removal, you are highly recommended to maintain/optimize your computer system using a tool like Cloud System Booster Cloud System Booster (download:www.dotfab.com/download_csb.html). It is a computer system cleaner/optimizer which can basically maintain your system performance. If you want a deep optimization, hard disk defragment would be a good idea. You may try the Anvi Ultimate Defrag (downoad:www.dotfab.com/download_aud.html) for efficiency defragment if the need arises.
Removal Option 2-Remove the Ransomware using Anvi Rescue Disk
In most cases of computer infected by ransomware, your PC would be totally blocked from any operation, including safe mode runing. Then, you can use the Anvi Rescue Disk to fix the issue together with the antimalware Anvi Smart Defender. Some patience and time is needed for this removal emthod. If any question in the process, please feel free to send your email below to our online Technical Support for timely help.
Below is a video of ransomware removal using Anvi Rescue Disk for your reference.
Step 1> Download the Anvi Rescue Disk iso image file
Download the Anvi Rescue Disk iso image file Rescue.iso and the USB disk production tool BootUsb.exe from Anvisoft official site. (Both are packaged in the file offered to download below.)
Direct download link: http://www.anvisoft.com/software/rsd/
Please kindly note that Rescue.iso is a large file to download; please be patient while it downloads.
Step 2> Record the Anvi Rescue Disk iso image to USB drive.
You can also record the iso image to a CD/DVD. We will introduce the steps to record iso image to a CD/DVD in following guide.
To record the Anvi Rescue Disk iso image to USB drive:
1. Firstly find a clean computer with correct internet connection and then connect your USB driver to the clean computer. You’d better backup your important data and format your USB drive before using it to record the iso image.
2. Locate your download folder and double-click on BootUsb.exe to start it. And then click “Choose File” button to browser into your download folder and select Rescue.iso file as your source file.
3. Select the path of USB drive, such as Drive H:
4. Click “Start Burning” to start the burn of USB Rescue Disk boot drive.
5.Please close BootUsb.exe tool after you successfully burn the file to the USB drive when you get the following message.
Now, you have bootable Anvi Rescue Disk to repair your computer.
You can also record Anvi Rescue Disk iso image to a DV/DVD. Any CD/DVD record software is fine for burn iso image. If you don’t have any, you can download and install Nero Burning ROM and ImgBurn. Here we will use Nero Burning ROM for demonstration purpose.
Please open and start Nero Burning ROM and select Burn Image from the drop-down menu of the Recorder.
1. Locate your download folder and select Rescue.iso file as your source file and then click Open button.
2. Click Burn button to start record the iso image. After a few minutes, you will have a bootable Anvi Rescue Disk to repair your computer.
Step 3> Configure your infected computer to boot from the USB drive/DV/DVD
Restart your infected computer and configure it to boot from USB drive/DV/DVD that recorded Anvi Rescue Disk.
Basically , you can use F8 to load USB boot menu.
For different motherboard, you may need to use the Delete or F2, F11 keys, to load the BIOS menu. Normally, the information on how to enter the BIOS menu is displayed on the screen at the start of the OS boot.
The keys F1, F8, F10, F12 might be used for some motherboards, as well as the following key combinations:
- • Ctrl+Esc
- • Ctrl+Ins
- • Ctrl+Alt
- • Ctrl+Alt+Esc
- • Ctrl+Alt+Enter
- • Ctrl+Alt+Del
- • Ctrl+Alt+Ins
- • Ctrl+Alt+S
If you can enter Boot Menu directly then simply select your CD/DVD-ROM as your 1st boot device.
If you can’t enter Boot Menu directly then simply use Delete key to enter BIOS menu. Select Boot from the main BIOS menu and then select Boot Device Priority. After that, set USB drive or CD/DVD-ROM as your 1st Boot Device. Save changes and exist BIOS menu.
Step> 4 Boot your computer from Anvi Rescue Disk.
After that let’s boot your computer from Anvi Rescue Disk.
1. Restart your computer. After restart, a message will appear on the screen: press any key to enter the menu. So, press Enter or any other key to load the Anvi Rescue Disk
2. please selected your preferred language and press Enter to continue.
Step> 5 Run the Anvi Rescue Disk to scan and repair.
1. Now you are in the mini Operating system, please double-click Rescue tool to start Anvi Rescue disk.
Important note: make sure that your computer is connected to network connection before you run a scan on your computer. If you fail to connect your computer to Internet, please check the tutorial on network configuration in this article: Network Troubleshooting Tips for Ransomware Removal Using Anvi Rescue Disk
2. Please run a full scan by clicking the “Scan Computer” button in the middle of the program to detect and kill the PC lockup virus.
3. Clicking “Fix Now” to Remove the detected threats detected by Anvi Rescue Disk.
4. Switch to Repair tab. Scan and fix the registry error with the “Repair” module of Anvi Rescue Disk.
Important Notice: You must repair the registry error after kill the virus. Otherwise, you would be disabled to boot your Windows without fixing registry damaged by the virus.
Step>6 Download Anvi Smart Defender antimalware to ensure a clean computer.
After the repair, your computer should be clean and resuced from the evil claw of the ransomware infection. However, many professionally crafted ransomware variants have evolved to be very persistant, that is to say, harder to remove, so you are highly recommended to download the antimalware Anvi Smart Defender by clicking Yes button on the prompted window to fulfill the download.
After the download, please restart your computer to normal Windows mode and then go to the folder: C:\Users\[username]\Downloads
Find the downloaded file asdsetup.exe and double click its file to install it and then start it to perform a full scan on your computer sytem, in order to ensure the computer is clean from any associated infections or leftovers.
After the scan, remove any detected infections and then you can have a clean computer now.
BTW: after the virus removal, you are highly recommended to maintain/optimize your computer system using a tool like Cloud System Booster Cloud System Booster (download:www.dotfab.com/download_csb.html). It is a computer system cleaner/optimizer which can basically maintain your system performance. If you want a deep optimization, hard disk defragment would be a good idea. You may try the Anvi Ultimate Defrag (downoad: www.dotfab.com/download_aud.html) for efficiency defragment if the need arises.