US-CERT Advises of Computer Ransomware

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Joe Vaccaro
23rd Ward Alderman
cell number 314-718-0131
Ward 23 Website

US-CERT Advises of Computer Ransomware 

August 26, 2013

On July 30, 2013, the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team, a division of Homeland Security, released a warning regarding a malware computer infection scam. This scam attempts to prove its validity by claiming it is connected to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
 
The scam begins when the user receives an email message that the user’s computer has been suspended for a violation of DHS rules.  The email says that the only means to unlock the computer is to pay a fine to the DHS. One version of this malware takes a photo of the user by webcam and posts it in a pop-up in an effort to further validate the scam.
 
The victim may be asked to pay by credit card or a direct debit from a bank account. The scammers may also request a wire transfer of funds or the use of a prepaid debit card from Wal-Mart or Walgreens. If the victim pays through a bank account, the thieves will use the account numbers provided to further rob the victim or steal the victim’s identity.
 
If your computer is infected with this malware, consult a reputable security expert to remove the malware, or perform a clean reinstallation of your operating system after formatting your computer’s hard drive.
 
In order to avoid becoming the victim of this type of scam, remember the following:
 

  • Do not click on or submit information to web pages unless you trust the source. Please note that even trusted sources can be infected. Always use caution when visiting web pages.
  • Do not click on links in email messages unless you trust the sender. Please note that even trusted senders can be infected. Always use caution when following links.
  • Use caution when opening email attachments. Recipients of this type of malware are encouraged not to pay the sender, but to instead report the crime to the FBI at www.IC3.gov
    , a joint investigative division of the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Commission. To learn more about using caution when opening email attachments, visit the following website: http://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/tips/st04-010
  • Users who have been infected should change all passwords after removing the malware from their system. 

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Joe Vaccaro
6227 hancock
St-Louis Missouri 63139
United States

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