WASHINGTON (9/21/12)--A new "drive-by" Internet virus known as Reveton ransomware locks computers, carries a fake message and tries to extort money from victims--bogusly claiming it is from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), according to a report issued by the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). Credit unions should be aware of the threat.
Unlike many viruses that activate when users open a file or attachment, Reveton can install itself when users simply click on a compromised website. Hence it is describe as a drive-by malware.
Once it is infected, the victim's computer immediately locks, and the monitor displays a screen stating there has been a violation of federal law.
"We're getting inundated with complaints," said Donna Gregory of the FBI Internet IC3.
The phony message goes on to say the user's Internet address was identified by the FBI or the Department of Justice's Computer Crimes and Intellectual Property Section as having been associated with child pornography or illegal online activity.
To unlock their machines, users are required to pay a fine using a prepaid money card service, as part of the central ploy of the scam to extort cash from victims.
IC3 suggests that victims do not pay or provide any personal information, contact a computer professional to remove the virus from their computer, file a complaint with IC3 and look for update about the Reveton virus on the IC3 website.