Home Cincinnati Press Releases 2012 FBI Cincinnati Warns of Malware That Continues to Infect Computers, Extort Money

FBI Cincinnati Warns of Malware That Continues to Infect Computers, Extort Money

U.S. Attorney’s Office October 04, 2012
  • Public Affairs Specialist Todd Lindgren (513) 979-8347

CINCINNATI—Residents in central and southern Ohio continue to report that their computers are being infected by the Reveton ransomware virus. This computer virus can install itself when an Internet user visits a compromised website. Once infected, the computer locks and displays a message stating that the FBI or Department of Justice has identified the computer as being involved in activities in violation of federal law. The user is instructed to send a prepaid money card in order to have the machine unlocked or face criminal prosecution.

Internet users are reminded that this is an Internet scam to extort money. They should not send any type of funds to the perpetrators of this hoax. The FBI does not collect fines or send messages seeking money.

The FBI Cincinnati Division and field offices around the country continue to receive a high number of complaints each day about this virus and scam. Those who believe their computers may be infected should do the following:

  • Do not pay any money or provide any personal information.
  • Contact a computer professional to remove the malware and virus from your computer.
  • Be aware that even if you are able to unfreeze your computer on your own, the malware may still operate in the background. Certain types of malware have been known to capture personal information such as user names, passwords, and credit card numbers through embedded keystroke logging programs.
  • File a complaint at www.ic3.gov and look for updates about the Reveton virus on the IC3 website.

For additional information about this and other Internet scams, please visit the Internet Crime Complaint Center (www.ic3.gov), a partnership between the FBI, the National White-Collar Crime Center, and the Bureau of Justice Assistance. IC3 receives, develops, and refers criminal complaints of cybercrime to law enforcement agencies.