ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WUSA) - A new computer virus is targeting Maryland residents, prompting them to pay $200 to unlock their computers, according to the state's comptroller Peter Franchot.
Franchot said that the virus is a variation on an earlier virus which appeared to come fro the FBI or Dept. of Justice. That virus that last year attracted attention of the Internet Crime Complaint Center, and its message told users there was a violation of a federal crime, and to use a prepaid money service to pay their fines. The current virus tells users to send $200 to the comptroller's office in order to unlock their computers.
The virus, according to a release from Franchot's office,
installs itself on the computer when the user visits a compromised website.
To limit exposure to computer viruses, users should have good anti-virus software, keep it up to date and run a weekly scan; avoid clicking on links or an attachment in an email that you aren't absolutely sure comes from a trusted source; beware of pop-up ads that look like they came from your computer. Some viruses are disguised as warnings from your computer program, such as Windows, that warn you about a problem that needs to be fixed. When clicked, the virus is installed. Check the validity of the warning by opening the anti-virus software on your computer, any warnings will be found on the front page.
Read more about the FBI scam http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2012/august/new-internet-scam.