Scared by the warning of “your pc has been blocked” on a lock screen that freezes your desktop and claims your computer is locked up due to it being used in distribution malware or other illicit activities? A fine of $ 100-$500 is demanded to pay via Ukash, Paysafecard, Greendot Moneypak , or CashU to unlock the computer? Be aware of such very dangerous computer virus, categorized as ransomware, and proper precaution are necessary. See more details here on what is ransomware and how to prevent such devastating computer infections.
Ransomware is a type of malware, short for malicious software, used for data kidnapping, previously known also as cryptvirus, cryptrojan, or cryptworm. It uses exploit kits to encrypt the victim’s data and demands payments for the decryption key. However, these days most trendy ransomware are Police themed ransomware which often uses Trojans to infiltrate and hold the victim’s computer OS for hostage with a crafted fake lock screen and make-up message in name of local authorities. Be aware of such a very dangerous computer virus, which can cause forever loss of your data stored on the infected computer.
Tricks of the Police Themed Ransomware
Police themed ransomware is a devastating computer virus, which often infiltrates targeted computer system with the help of Trojans and once take the system, it will lock up the entire computer system and display a crafted notification in name of local authority, mostly local police, to make up various excuses for a “fine’ to be paid via prepaid codes. Using social engineering tactics, the scam message of Police themed ransomware are very tricky, which often stated that the infected computer is involved in illicit activities online like the victim has been using the computer to distribute malware, porn graphical materials, or visit some porn websites, or illegally use copyrighted content, etc.
Think that how could an authentic institution function this way and punishes “law-offender” even not know exactly what law they’ve violated. However, it makes sense that people who firstly encounter such a warning may instantly search through their memory to see if they’ve done the sated things, some of them do not and some of them do and thus the ransomware scam message comes to carry more weight on those who do involve by accident. Avoiding of the embarrassment, some of them may pay the ransom as instructed to those criminals and let the ransomware do the trick. No wonder that ransomware tricks have been in the wild for so long although the security industry and the real Police authorities related have been making efforts to warn people and arrest those cyber crooks.
How Ransomware Distributed?
Such threat is distributed through several means. Malicious websites, or legitimate websites that have been compromised, may drop ransomware Trojan onto a compromised computer. This drive-by-download often happens surreptitiously. Another method used to propagate this type of malware is spam email containing infected attachments or links to malicious websites. The threat may also be downloaded manually by tricking the user into thinking they are installing a useful piece of software.
Ransomware are also prevalent on peer-to-peer file sharing websites and is often packaged with pirated or illegally acquired software.
Ransomware is not new
A paper entitled “Cryptovirology: Extortion-Based Security Threats and Countermeasures,” written by security experts at Columbia University and IBM, clearly outlined the concept back in 1996. In the past, though, data kidnappers targeted businesses rather than individuals. In March 2006, ransomware known as Crypzip or Zippo circulated to private users on the Internet. Recipients of the Trojan horse program also received an e-mail ransom note demanding $300, to be paid by electronic transfer, for the key required to unlock all their files.
Ransomware-Risky Malware Trend
It is believed that bad guys gains revenue from ransomware scams has been up to $ 3,3000 a day. Actually, the number can be even bigger because as of now, standard security programs have no sufficient measures to remove most ransomware which forbid everything on infected PC.
Recently spread ransomware infections are listed below:
FBI moneypak virus, PCeU virus (aka Metropolitan Police Ukash virus), United States Courts Moneypak virus, Department of Justice virus, Police Cybercrime Virus, FBI “System Failure” virus, Urausy virus/ransomware , CashU virus, SPAUTORES virus, CCIPS Moneypak Ransomware, Decrypt Protect-MBL Block Off Virus, Joint Chiefs of Staff MoneyPak Virus, MoneyGram Virus, International Cyber Security Protection Alliance virus, Politie Office Central Ukash Virus, Spamhaus MoneyPak Virus, FBI “Ihr Computer wurde gesperrt und alle Daten verschlüsselt wurden!” Virus, Europol Interpol Paysafecard Virus, FBI “Uw computer is vergrendeld en alle gegevens zijn versleuteld!” Virus, ICE Cyber Crime Center Moneypak virus, FBI your computer has been locked virus, FBI Cybercrime Division ICSPA virus, Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) Virus, U.S. Department of Homeland Security moneypak virus, White Screen virus, etc.
How to Remove Ransomware Infections
According to the properties of ransomware infections, the most common solutions are:
- Do sytstem restore in safe mode with command prompt operation
- Use Anvi Rescue Disk to repair and remove in Linux environment. (see detailed instructions in this article.)
- The last way out goes to re-install the Windows OS or contact us for specific ransomware removal assistance.
Common Symptoms of Recent Ransomware Infections
- 1. Sneaky infiltration
- 2. Desktop freezes and entire OS is locked up.
- 3. Fraudulent authority message appears with a fraudulent claim
- 4. Internet redirects to a fake web page of certain local authorities and asks for a payment to unlock your computer system (Online complaint bureau depends on user’s IP location)
- 5. Troubles with safe mode rebooting & running
How to Prevent Ransomware Infections
To sum up, recent ransomware scamming tends to be more sophisticated with its tricks. Everyone should be alerted about this and take extra caution when encountering such nasty infections that may cause the loss of important files and even potentials for funds or privacy leak. Thus, precautions are in the first place when it comes to preventing ransomware infections. Be careful and safe online.
1. Practice cautious browsing online
Refrain from opening an unexpected email-attachment and take extra care when clicking on a suspicious link to open a webpage. You may get your online activities better secured if you turn on security features of browsers. See detailed guide to enable security features of IE, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome here.
2. Get your computer well-protected
Most antivirus vendors have signatures that can block the known types of ransomware. A powerful suite for computer protection online usually at least embraces trusted antivirus, antimalware and firewall, more or less depending on the specific situation and needs. (By the way, the antimalware tool- Anvi Smart Defender may fit to your best bet if you have not such a tool yet.)
3. Back up data regularly
It is always a good habit to back up data on a regular basis in case that any accidents happen to cause the loss of data.
All in all, to protect against future manifestations of data kidnapping—and many other online crimes, experts urge that users back up data regularly, practice cautious browsing and refrain from opening unexpected e-mail attachments, apart from avail of reliable online security guard there.
Good luck and be safe online.
Encounter any tough ransomware infection that hijacks your windows OS now? Follow above stated solutions to handle that or just email us below to get rid of the infection and recover your data now.