Ransomware: Computer Hostage Scam
How the scam works:
(with video below) This one is the scariest scam of 2015. It's happening now. Imagine this: while you're using your computer, tablet or mobile, the screen freezes and a full-page notification reads: “Your personal files are encrypted. To obtain the private key for this computer, which will automatically decript files, you need to pay $300US/300 EURO, similar in another currency.“
You might think is a joke or just a simple annoying popup, but you cannot even close the page or give another command! Your computer is really frozen. You can't do anything. The only active button is “Click Next to select method of payment”. You even restart the device…still frozen! Thousands of victims have lost their hard-earned money in the last few weeks due to this attack. How does it work?
Watch the video below to see in action the scary Ransomware Computer Hostage scam exposed or read on.
Let's show you how the scam works, how you can protect yourself, and take a look at some of the best antivirus software.
The Ransomware: Computer Hostage Scam is technically called Trojan.Cryptowall, which is a Trojan horse that encrypts files on the compromised computer. It then asks the user to pay to have the files decrypted. The threat typically arrives on the affected computer through spam emails, exploit kits hosted through malicious ads or compromised sites, or other malware. The craziest thing is that the crooks give you a link where you can actually see all your personal files, encrypted.
Cyber criminals ask from anywhere between $300 to $10,000 and they give you a countdown, otherwise they destroy your files. The favorite method of payment for scammers is Bitcoin, which is not traceable. Just like the other reloadable cards such as MoneyPak, Vanilla Reload, Ukash, or GreenDot, Bitcon is pure cash online.
How to avoid:
What would you do if you don't want your personal documents, bank accounts and passwords, or all your pictures stolen and distroyed? If it's too late and you are already in this ransomware situation you can only try to wipe out our drive and reinstall the files and software that you might have. You will need to take your computer/tablet/Android phone to a specialist.
However, if you want to protect yourself NOW, make sure you have a good, if not the best antivirus firewall software. It is wise to use and invest in the best virus and spyware protection. Nowadays they're not that crazy expensive anymore. If it's not too late, purchase your internet security software from legitimate and renowned providers such as Kaspersky Lab or AVG Technologies.
If your computer is already running slow or making excessive pop-ups, you may already be infected with spyware, which you can remove with powerful computer virus protection software such as Kaspersky Total Security 2016 (for both personal use or corporate antivirus software). It's worth the investment.
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