The Metropolitan Police virus, sometimes known as the Ukash virus, is something GlowIT has been dealing heavily with this winter. Those affected will turn on their computer only to find themselves seemingly locked out with no way to close or stop the program appearing. They’ll be told their system has been disabled due to illegal activity with a fairly convincing image and will be required to pay a fine using obscure payment methods, such as buying a voucher code. Not only that, but the fine will often be requested in a foreign currency. (The most obscure request we have encountered at GlowIT is a ‘fine’ of ¥15,000 – approximately £100!)
As Richard Fountain Managing Director of Glow IT says;
“It’s a particularly nasty piece of malware (malware is any piece of malicious software such as a virus) that has been plaguing many machines and its removal often encompasses a variety of advanced and surgical methods to ensure all traces of the software are completely erased from a system: some will even require complete removal of the hard drive and manual disinfection”.
The virus comes in a variety of forms with different variants having a different appearance and varying degrees of control over the system: some will block only one user account, whilst others affect every user on the system even whilst in system diagnostic modes. It is not uncommon for the virus to take a picture of the user by forcing the webcam to capture an image upon infecting the system and using this within the supposed ‘warning’. Recently, the alleged developers of the computer virus were caught but unfortunately this does not mean the infection rate has subsided. In just the last week, a new variant which accuses the user of accessing child pornography is rapidly spreading.
The police virus, and many other pieces of malware, spread easily through dangerous websites and email. As such, we advise the public to be cautious of opening links they are sent by people they do not know personally and to ensure they have an up to date, secure system.
Anyone with the Police virus, who would like to know more or is encountering any other computer troubles is more than welcome to contact GlowIT on:
01279 464474, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting at 2-4 London Road, Bishops Stortford, CM23 5ND.
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