The FBI Virus is what is known as rogue spyware or ransom ware which means it claims to be a legitimate security warning but it is actually spyware itself. It attempts to scare you into paying a bogus $100 fine through a service called Moneypak by hijacking your computer and bombarding it with fake security alerts from the FBI and warnings of illegal activity. The entire process is just an elaborate hoax.
The larger threat that the FBI Virus poses is that hackers use it to attempt to gain access to your sensitive information i.e. passwords, account numbers, credit cards, etc. because it can log keystrokes and internet activity and then send that information to a remote server over the internet – which can ultimately lead to identity theft.
How do I get infected with the FBI virus?
FBI virus gets inside your system through security vulnerabilities found when you visit infected websites or download infected files. These security holes appear as soon as you forget to take care of your computer’s security and don’t use security software or don’t update it. Of course, you must always think about safe browsing and avoid suspicious downloads offered on the Internet. The biggest issue caused by this ransomware is that it completely blocks your computer, ‘locks’ it and disables all the programs on it. In order to ‘unlock’ your system, the FBI virus shows a warning and requires you to pay the fine through MoneyPak. You must never pay this $100 fine!
What does the FBI Virus do?
Once installed, the FBI Virus can:
- Steal your passwords, credit card numbers and personal information
- Block you from running Windows Task Manager
- Block you from running executable files
- Trick you into purchasing illegitimate software by simulating detection of infections
- Hijack your web browser by blocking access to websites of legitimate software vendors
- Affect the performance of your computer so much so that it may render it inoperable
- Selectively disable parts of your system to prevent you from uninstalling it
- Prevent legitimate spyware and virus removers from running
- Disable automatic system software updates
- Install additional spyware or viruses onto your computer
You can remove the virus yourself, but many times it requires help for an IT professional. For more information click here.