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A New & Very Serious Computer Virus is Out There....

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Steve Hargreaves - Moderator05/11/2013 20:39:29
6592 forum posts
181 photos

I received this warning from my Companies IT Dept today......

"A new Malware / Virus is making the rounds and it is being described as very serious. It is ransomware.

The program is being delivered via “drive-by” downloads… legitimate looking email from UPS, FEDX, a bank or possibly PayPal. They have a message requesting information, telling you about an offer, or a problem; all to get you to click on a link.

The link does not take you anywhere - it executes a program. Once the machine has been infected many or all files on your computer are encrypted with a program using 256-bit encryption keys. 256-bit encryption is essentially impossible to crack.

A pop-up message then asks for money to be paid via non-traceable “bitcoin” or “money packets” online payment systems to receive the encryption key to unlock your files, and a countdown timer starts counting down 72 hours. If payment is not made the key needed to unlock your files is deleted and they are lost forever. If you get this and do not pay your machine is rendered useless.

Variants of this virus have been found to encrypt files on “mapped” drives, so for people on a network where a drive letter points to some network share, those files also could become encrypted.

In some cases, there is no anti-virus or malware program available that will block this attack, and once infected there is no “cleaner.” The files are truly encrypted and inaccessible.

All users should use extreme caution when following links within email messages. The general rules apply, if this is not something that you have asked for, DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK. If your bank has sent you a message, or PayPal, and it is legitimate you should be able to go to their website yourself and get the same information directly.

As we approach the holiday season, many people send eCards to family and friends. Please be wary of these messages, as many phishing emails will be sent during the holidays.

If you have any doubt, do not open the link. Check with your local IT group for further information / direction."

The more of us know about this & are careful the better......please pass on this warning to friends/colleagues etc.....

Dylan Reynolds LaserCraft Services05/11/2013 20:44:02
1704 forum posts
661 photos

Thanks for the heads up Steve, been receiving loads of emails with links in the just lately luckily GMail is picking up on them and not downloading to my system, so fingers crossed crook

John F05/11/2013 20:45:52
1315 forum posts
51 photos

I heard about this a couple of months ago.

In short, the advice for every single day of your online life should be : Never click on a link that is within an email unless you know 100% that the sender is really the sender!


Edited By John F on 05/11/2013 20:47:38

Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator05/11/2013 20:59:14
15228 forum posts
1407 photos

Well I'm not clicking on that then - you might not be John F!


Steve Hargreaves - Moderator05/11/2013 21:01:39
6592 forum posts
181 photos

Good poinr BEB!!!! teeth 2

thunderstreak.keith05/11/2013 21:18:27
276 forum posts
118 photos

I received 2 emails from pay pal. they looked dodgy but the 1st one actually details of my last payment to pay pal. I foned pay pal and forwarded it to them, they thanked me and said it was phishing scam. iff you get any from pay pal that look dodgy i suggest you forward it to "" the more they investigate the better for all of us in the end

Codename-John05/11/2013 21:38:26
1087 forum posts
18 photos

one of the easiest ways ive noticed lately to spot spam email, is the recipients part, if it hasnt got your specific email address and just says undisclosed recipients or something similar, then obviously its not just meant for you but has just been sent out as a number of mails to a number of people, which you wouldnt get if someone specificly wanted to tell you something.

Its not like that all the time, some do have my specific email, but quite a few i get are either non disclosed, or sometimes even a totally different address !

WolstonFlyer05/11/2013 23:06:18
2104 forum posts
189 photos

There is some info about it here at the IT website The Register


TheFlyingCrust05/11/2013 23:35:34
611 forum posts
67 photos

Just checking the sender's email address can give clues to the veracity of emails. With bogus emails the senders email rarely has the company's domain name. But there are the odd few that do look genuine. As has been said above, if in doubt Don't Open. But visit the company's website. If they have a message for you it'll be there.

I use a Mac so Windows specific malware isn't an issue.


Edited By Rentman on 05/11/2013 23:37:13

Plummet06/11/2013 01:00:36
1341 forum posts
40 photos

A New & Very Serious Computer Virus is Out There....

I think this should read

A New & Very Serious Windows Computer Virus is Out There....

Smug Mode



Piers Bowlan06/11/2013 02:00:10
1242 forum posts
36 photos

Wot's a computer virus? (Shouldhavegotamac) now retreating to the bunker!

Mark Stevens 106/11/2013 02:46:31
104 forum posts
32 photos

Agreed with Codename John above - always check the recipients field on the email, it will either be blank, or state Undisclosed or will even be a hash job of your email address.

If in doubt, DO NOT click on the link - if you really need to check anything that you may have a genuine account with, then simply log on to that website but NOT via the link on the email.

If you get a strange email from a bank you don't have an account with or claiming it is a receipt for an order you have not made - Delete it . They are designed that way to get your attention so you will query them.

Furthermore, Never click on any attachments on suspicious emails - that is usually the virus waiting to be opened !!


Phil 906/11/2013 07:07:22
4208 forum posts
198 photos

I get fake paypal emails direct to my address. The only way I can spot them is they start "Dear Member" genuine paypal uses my name

they are getting better at fooling you. I had on bank virus that let you open the page to the genuine bank site then opened a separate window to the fake page asking for your log on details very worrying.

Olly P06/11/2013 07:27:23
3215 forum posts
181 photos
Posted by Plummet on 06/11/2013 01:00:36:

A New & Very Serious Computer Virus is Out There....

I think this should read

A New & Very Serious Windows Computer Virus is Out There....

Smug Mode



Thanks, doesn't help those of us who are 'issued' computers by management and have to use what we are given. besides I like not having to worry about software working or not....

Peter Miller06/11/2013 08:48:43
9065 forum posts
1042 photos
10 articles

Just bought a Chromebook. These are supposed to be safe from any virus intended for Windows.

Mind you, I am very aware of phishing emails and viruses and don't open any attachements.

John F06/11/2013 09:00:55
1315 forum posts
51 photos

Oh dear, not the "Macs are safer than windows" discussion! In short, no, they're not, you will be hit sooner or later.

The long answer: Being in the RAF we get personal security briefings which help us to stay safe online from specialist security folk. No one web user is totally "safe" and macs are vulnerable especially those mac users who don't have anti-virus software in the belief that they are safe. They're not.

With emails always go through the proper website to address any issues you have been warned about rather than click through an email.

Josip Vrandecic -Mes06/11/2013 09:48:56
2868 forum posts
241 photos

Hi Steve , thanks a lot indeed...thumbs up



Jonnor06/11/2013 14:04:18
107 forum posts

There was a recent piece by computer boffin Rick Maybury in the Daily Telegraph. He said there is a ransomware programe called Cryptolocker doing the rounds where victims had to pay a fine to have their infected computers restored to normal. It could, he said, slip past security software, get in email attachments, come from infected websites or downloading pirated software. To correct things he suggested a freeware tool on the Foolish It website called Cryptoprevent ---

All way above my head, but I hope it helps.

John F06/11/2013 14:11:12
1315 forum posts
51 photos

That's what the thread was initially about Jonnor. It doesn't slip past, you still have to click and follow links to get infected.

Edited By John F on 06/11/2013 14:11:49

Jonnor06/11/2013 14:50:39
107 forum posts

Slip, click, whatever. I merely wanted to offer a possible solution.

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