Symantec recently announced their top 5 security predictions for 2013. Among them is an increase in ransomware: “malicious software that disables your computer’s functionality and demands a payment is made to restore it to working order. As demonstrated in the example below, scare tactics are typically used and cyber criminals are increasingly turning to ransomware thanks to the deployment of better online payment methods to collect money from their victims.”
This is a real ransomware notice which uses the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation’s logo to convince the victim to respond with the requested payment.
You can help protect yourself, and your computer, by having an updated anti-virus software package on your computer. And, more importantly, refrain from visiting sex and porn websites which are usually used by cyber criminals as vehicles to load malware such as this on your computer. These are not the only malicious Internet websites that will download ransomware, but they have a history of doing so and therefore should be avoided.
Ransomware can be very difficult to remove from your computer, once infected. I know of one case where an acquaintance visited a porn site, was infected with ransomware, and it completely locked up his computer waiting for the payment. An experienced technical support person could not remove it in any other way than to replace the computer’s hard drive. The victim lost all data and software loaded on the computer and had to completely reload it.
Reference: ItProPortal.com article
Be very careful…it’s dangerous out there.
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