The FBI Virus

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2 comments   |   Viruses

 

Does the FBI Want Your Money?

Back in the summer of 2008, I had the chance to see what a real computer virus epidemic looked like.

It was called “Antivirus Pro 2008,” “XP Antivirus Pro,” or “Antivirus Pro 2009.” There were other names it went by; but, in the world of malicious software, it was a prodigy, and the very first of its kind that I can recall. It would install itself on your computer, and then bring up a graphical display that looked very similar to an antivirus software. It would boldly declare that you had some huge number of infections or problems on your computer. The required remedy to remove them was simple: Purchase that software by typing in your credit card number, and it would kindly remove them.

Many people fell prey to this, including my own mother-in-law. They would pay $60-$90 for some bogus software that not only caused the problem to begin with, but would also fail to resolve said problem when it was purchased. This type of malicious software has since become so common, that it received its own term:

Scareware

.

Since that time, many have called into Computer Depot to ask if something they are seeing on their computer screen is legitimate or not. The short answer to “Is this a virus?” is simply, “Did you install it?” If you installed it, it’s probably not a virus. If it just showed up out of the blue one day, and no one intentionally installed it, it’s a virus.

Recently, one particular piece of scareware has been running rampant around the nation, and we have seen it more than any other in several months. It is the infamous “FBI” software scam that has been popping up on people’s computers all over the place. The issue has become so bad, that we’ve heard of several occasions in which people who are actually contacting (and yelling at ) the actual FBI in response.

Let me clear the air about this one – THE FBI HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS. It is a piece of malicious software that installs itself on your computer, claims you’ve been downloading illegal software (Whether you have or have not, it doesn’t honestly know either way), and that you need to pay a fine to the FBI before they will unlock your computer. Payment can be made by going to a drug store or department store and purchasing a “MoneyPak,” and then typing in the MoneyPak credentials into the software.

Folks, don’t do this. Don’t buy the MoneyPak, and don’t call the FBI. Overseas purchases via MoneyPak are difficult to trace–and in any case, you’re not going to get your money back. That–and you’ll be supporting cyberterrorism.

I recommend visiting your local computer repair shop instead.

Au revoire,

Scott Davis
Store Manager Powell Location
Computer Depot, Inc.

  1. Don11-10-12

    First began seeing this on customers computer about 4 months ago. First customer that called me about was horrified, she told me “FBI has locked her computer out and she needs to pay”. I said “WHAT???” Bring it in, sure enough could not believe this one myself, got her fixed up.

  2. Computer repair houston04-01-13

    Very helpful blog to prevent computer problems.

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