Skip to main content

FBI/MoneyPak "Ransomware" is new type/derivative of malware/spyware

Fbi malware

What would you do if a screen like this one -- purporting to be from the FBI (US Federal Bureau of Investigation) -- popped up on your PC screen? It claims that you engaged in some illegal activity and requires that you go to your local electronics store to purchase a MoneyPak card to pay your "fine!" If you are like most people, you'd panic a little bit and wonder what you could have possibly could have done wrong. Then, after a few minutes you would realize that you had been infected by one of the latest, insidious malware systems -- something I call "ransomware."

Ransomware seeks to get you to pay someone to unlock your computer, but really it is just a way to rip you off. NEVER pay anyone anything when you computer is infected by malware. If you use a credit card it will quickly be charged up to its maximum and might even allow for additional identity theft. If you purchased this MoneyPak gift card, as instructed by this malware, you would simply be turning over $100-$200 of cash to the person who infected your machine AND your machine would almost certainly STILL be infected.

If you are faced by malware like this, seek out a reputable computer service tech -- either your own personal contact or one of the major electronics chains like Staples of Best Buy. For a fee, they will unravel the malware and get your computer working again.

I faced this FBI malware for the first time today and it is insidious. It seeks to lock you out of your computer entirely, so removing it is no easy task. You first have to figure our some way of starting the computer without also triggering the malware. In my case, this involved starting up the PC is "Safe Mode with Command Line" by tapping the F8 key on the keyboard immediately after starting the computer. Even the Windows Safe Mode was triggering the virus so my only recourse was to fall back on my ancient knowledge of the DOS command line. I found a few suspicious files and then, after removing them, I was able to boot the PC into Safe Mode with the Windows interface enabled.

This then let me run my favorite malware cleanup tool, Malwarebytes, on the computer to remove any further infections. Malware often travels in packs -- one infection allows another and then another -- so you need to make sure the PC is completely clean before returning it to its user. I also had to re-install Microsoft Security Essentials, the the malware had disabled it. I noticed that both Adobe Flash and Java needed updating on this computer and it is possible that one of these 2 programs/systems was the vector for the infection. It is so important to keep your software updated, including Windows Updates and both of these.

There are lots of great resources on cleaning up this FBI/MoneyPak ransomware and that is where I turned when I needed more information. Especially helpful were these instructions (including manual removal instructions) from BotCrawl.com.

How To Remove The FBI Moneypak Ransomware Virus – Fake FBI Malware Information And Removal Options

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Tiny Wow - Tools That Solve Your Files Problem - Convert to/from many file formats [Shared]

A nice collection of quick, online tools, to convert to and from a variety of file types. Just the site to keep in mind when you need to shuffle one type data into a new system. — Douglas TinyWow & Your Privacy Don't you love finding a great online tool-set that claims to be free, let's you build and interact the way you want, only to be denied access if you don't pay for an account(or sign up for an account). Our site is free. We don't limit. We don't even take sign-ups. Might we take sign-ups one day? Sure, we probably will(but not any time soon). When we do go down that route, what we will NOT do is trick you into spending your time using our tools, only to be denied access before you can download what you have just spent your precious time creating. TinyWow is free. We don't have ads, we don't sell data. We currently have no plans to monetize. Why offer these tools for free? We operate two tech websites: Alphr & TechJunkie. We thought our use

Microsoft release Outlook.com email services to replace Hotmail

Today Microsoft released its new email service Outlook.com to replace its Hotmail brand. This new streamlined Metro interface design looks good and functions well so far. You can use your existing Microsoft account to log in and then choose an email alias (i.e. douglaswelch@outlook.com) for your new email address. Here are several articles that discuss Outlook.com... Goodbye, Hotmail; Hello, Outlook.com [REVIEW]  Outlook Is a Completely New, Feature-Filled Webmail Service from Microsoft Go Get Your @Outlook Email Address Quick Before Someone Else Does I will post links to more articles and reviews as they appear.

TechIQ Gift Guide #15: Sams Teach Yourself Wordpress 3 in 10 minutes

#15 Sams Teach Yourself Wordpress 3 in 10 minutes Chuck Tomasi , fellow Friends in Tech member and co-author of Podcasting for Dummies , along with another Friends in Tech member and podcasting partner, Kreg Steppe , have a new book out that would be a great gift for anyone interested in blogging and New Media. Wordpress is my first recommendation when someone wants to get started with blogging, but it can be a little intimidating. It is very powerful and with power comes complexity. That said, this book can help to jumpstart your Wordpress knowledge and help you be productive. There is also a companion podcast to the book, Wordpress in 10, available from the author's web site. From Amazon.com... "Sams Teach Yourself WordPress in 10 Minutes gives you straightforward, practical answers when you need fast results. By working through its 10-minute lessons, you’ll learn everything you need to build great blogs with WordPress and WordPress.org, and reach any audience by web brows