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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Warning, you have been visiting illegal websites

by Anastasia (writer), London, June 26, 2012

Credit: Wikimedia commons
Something wicked this way comes

Actually, I want to warn you about an especially malicious virus that has attack computers across England. Last week it attacked mine.

My last Letter from Ana was an amusing reflection on a putative zombie apocalypse. Now I want to warn people about a genuine contagion, a potential threat to all computer users. I can speak personally about this because it hit me last week, causing an hour or two of anxiety. My remarks are specifically addressed to people outside Europe, where the threat, I believe, has not yet appeared. North America looks likely to be the next target.

Anyway, it’s a virus that came to England recently from the Continent, where it first appeared in Germany, affecting Windows users. It purports to be a notice from the police, appearing right across your screen, saying that because you have been detected visiting illegal sites your computer has been locked. And, my goodness, it has; all files and icons have disappeared. Even ctrl alt delete does not work. The notice proceeds with a warning that unless one pays £100 fine ($130) within twenty four hours then one’s computer will be wiped clean.

Mine supposedly came from London’s Metropolitan Police Force. I now know that the scam (other forces are mentioned also) is called the Metropolitan Police Ukash virus, a form of ransomware. I was worried but not at all phased. For one thing, I don’t visit illegal or pornographic sites, and for another, this is little more than demanding money with menaces, a practice clearly at variance with all legal and police procedure. Apart from that the wording and grammar is atrocious!

However, I understand that a lot of people, visiting porno sites or not, have been seriously unsettled by this, the very idea that the police had such power. In fact it’s a just a parcel of creepy cyber crooks. The police themselves are aware of this. The Met issued its own warning, advising people not to reveal details of their bank accounts.

As I say, my PC was infected by this Trojan. Fortunately I also have a lap top and was able to carry out a spot of research. I linked up with some other users who had been similarly affected, managing to alight on a solution suited to my own particular problem, once I worked my way through a lot of technical jargon! The solution seems to be different in each case. I have Windows7 and for me at least it was relatively simple, though I note that other users seemed to be in deeper crisis.

I should add that the Trojan managed to get round my existing anti-virus protection, which is a slight concern. The bigger one is over exactly where this nuisance came from. I’m always careful. In future I shall be even more so. Criminals are imaginative. It’s up to us to be even more imaginative and not be scared by the unexpected. Take care out there!



About the Writer

Anastasia is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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3 comments on Warning, you have been visiting illegal websites

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By Pushhyarag2000 on June 27, 2012 at 12:44 am

Ana,

In spite of a good anti virus system if I get hit, I get hit! Actually, there are two types of surfers according to me-or may be three. The first group are always selective and cautious about the sites they visit and not even curious about something popping up always while surfing, which is so rampant. The second group falls prey to such regular pop ups or blinking links!! The third group obviously is avowedly indulgent.

What may be worrying is that the first group is as vulnerable as the second, leave alone the third group to be attacked. The attackers ironically spend far more time and appear ingenious than most of us. Cautious we shall be but absolute protection from the menace seems far from escaping. There is a virus mafia too?

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By Anastasia on June 28, 2012 at 05:31 pm

Hey, Pushhy, you might be right! Actaually I changed my anti-virus protection from Norton to AVG shortly before this happened, which left me wondering if there is any connection.

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By Maria Jonson on July 13, 2015 at 02:19 am

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