Why was my computer locked by cyber cops when I did not do anything illegal?
To unlock, I’m asked for a fine of $100. How do I know that it’s not a
In this excerpt from
Answercast #94 I look at a case where ransomware is calling itself a “Cyber
Cop” and asking for money to unlock.
Computer locked by cyber cops
Well, it is a scam. There are no cyber cops and there are no people watching what you’re doing and suddenly locking up your computer because they think you did something illegal.
It’s a malware scam
Those people don’t exist. Those are scammers; those are hackers. The entire thing has to do with getting money out of your pocket and into theirs.
What you have is a malware infection. It’s nothing more, nothing less than a virus of some sort. That is then taking over your computer and presenting this misleading mail.
Unfortunately, removing it can be somewhat difficult.
My suggestion is that you run a program such as Windows Defender Offline to scan your computer for malware before it actually boots. In other words, what you do is end up booting from the DVD or the CD that’s created by the Windows Defender offline installation process.
When you boot from that, you’re no longer running any software from your actual PC. You’re running the software that’s on that CD. That, then, may give you the opportunity to go in and clean any malware that’s on that machine.
Removing Cyber cops
I have heard, in at least one report, that Windows Defender Offline was able to correct this particular case of what we’ve come to refer to as “ransomware.”
So, that’s my recommendation. Treat this as a very aggressive malware infection. Use offline recovery tools to see if you can’t get it cleaned up.
(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)
Next from Answercast 94- My machine’s suddenly started acting erratically, even after a reinstall. How do I fix it?