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Department of Justice virus

Posted February 13, 2013 in Advice Column, West Des Moines

One of the frequent infections we are seeing is called the Department of Justice Virus.

The virus locks your computer and asks you to pay as much as $300 to unlock your computer and stop prosecution. This is a polymorphic virus; it is a variant of fake alert or scareware, and it is very difficult to prevent from running. For those of you who don’t know, the Department of Justice will not give notice of your pending arrest via your computer screen. Without question, this is a hoax. Don’t pay them any money.

As with all viruses it is best to not allow a foothold in the first place. This can be accomplished with proper computer protections and careful surfing (careful surfing is the most important — please call us for advice). If, however, you are compromised, a proper backup helps to diminish the frustration caused by this infection. This is a class of malware that has been very difficult for personal users to remove and generally requires professional assistance. This virus and its techniques reminds us that you should never reward hostage takers with a ransom payment. The payment is not likely to fix the trouble (we have never seen a fix), and it would be rewarding their adverse behavior.

Information provided by James L. Thalacker 600MONKEYS, 5465 Mills Civic Parkway, Suite 220, West Des Moines, 327-0600,

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