September 28, 2016

Ransomware claims FBI know that victim’s computer associated with crime and told to pay fine

(LiveHacking.Com) – The Department of Homeland Security’s United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) has published a warning about various ransom campaigns which are impersonating multiple U.S. Government agencies. The malware, which impersonates the United States Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), displays an alert telling the victim that a Federal Government agency has associated the user’s computer with one or more online crimes. To regain use of the computer the victim must pay a fine, often through a prepaid money card service.

The US-CERT warning comes after the discovery earlier this month of a piece of ransonware known as Reveton. The drive-by Trojan, which infects a victim’s PC when they visit a compromised website, locks the user’s computer, displays a bogus message and demands payment of fines. The bogus message says that the user’s Internet address was identified by the FBI or the Department of Justice’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section as having been associated illegal online activity. To unlock their machines, users are required to pay a fine using a prepaid money card service. The FBI has confirmed that the malware has already successfully stolen money from a number of innocent victims.

Needless to say, government agencies don’t send out official notifications as unsolicited emails or web popup alerts and are required by law to be delivered directly to the individual. Also, government agencies don’t ask for fines to be paid via money card services.

According to the US-CERT warning, vicitm’s can also choose to file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).