FBI, This Week: Reveton Ransomware

August 10, 2012

A new Internet virus is holding computers hostage across the United States and beyond.

Audio Transcript

Mollie Halpern: A new Internet virus is holding computers across the United States and beyond hostage.

I’m Mollie Halpern of the Bureau, and this is FBI, This Week.

The ransomware, called Reveton, installs itself onto the computer without the user’s knowledge. Then, the computer freezes. A bogus message from the FBI pops up on the screen saying the user violated federal law. To unlock their computer, the user must pay a fine. Supervisory Special Agent Herbert Stapleton…

Stapleton: The FBI will never insist that you need to pay a fine to the FBI to unlock it. That’s not a law enforcement tactic. So don’t provide any money, don’t provide any personal information if your computer is locked up by this type of malware.

Halpern: This kind of malware has been used to participate in online bank fraud.

Stapleton: Contact a computer professional to remove the malware from your computer and make sure that it’s fully removed and there are no lingering effects.

Halpern: If you’re a victim of this virus, report it to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, or IC3, at www.ic3.gov. The IC3 is a partnership between the FBI and the National White-Collar Crime Center.

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