The Homeland Security virus – also known as the FBI MoneyPak virus – has been in the wild since last summer. But lately the pernicious virus has been popping up with greater frequency on Windows computers.
Fake & Scary Notice
The Homeland Security virus, or the FBI MoneyPak virus, displays on computer screens as if it’s an alert from the department Homeland Security or the FBI. This vicious malware locks down your computer and fills the screen with a totally fake but scary notification. “THIS COMPUTER HAS BEEN BLOCKED” it announces.
Here’s a screen shot of what shows up on people’s screens:
The alert scarily continues: “The work of your computer has been suspended on the grounds of the violation of the law of the United States of America.” The violations cited include the use and distribution of pornography, copyrighted content, piracy software, child pornography, and other cybercrime.
Your Webcam – Used Against You
If you have a webcam attached or embedded in your computer, the camera turns on and shows you in real time in front of your computer. A box at the top of the screen shows your user ID, your geographic location, and your IP address – all pulled from information already on your computer but placed there to make you believe the US government is watching you.
The second half of the screen is devoted to giving you the opportunity to pay a $300 fine to remove the warning. Of course paying the fine will not remove the Homeland Security virus and will only serve as a gateway for more ransoms, money loss, and even identity theft. On top of that, after a while the FBI MoneyPak virus starts corrupting and deleting files.
Homeland Security Virus: What Should You Do?
If you get this warning – or anything like it – immediately shut down your computer. Then, give us a call. The Homeland Security/FBI MoneyPak virus is removable, but must be cleaned out as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, one of the first things this malware does is incapacitate your antivirus software. This makes it difficult to attack the virus unless – as in some cases we’ve encountered – the hard drive is taken out of the computer for us to scan from another computer.
Here’s more from NBC News.
Be wary. Don’t click on anything remotely suspicious. And definitely don’t pay the scammers!
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