FBI MoneyPak Ransomware

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FBI MoneyPak Ransomware
Seal of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.svg
FBI logo used in the ransomware
Common nameFBI Ransomware
Technical nameReveton Ransomware
ClassificationRansomware
Point of originUnited Kingdom
Written inEnglish

The FBI MoneyPak Ransomware, also known as Reveton Ransomware, is a type of ransomware malware. It starts by purporting to be the American Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and that they have locked the computer or smart phone due to "illegal activities" and demands a ransom payment via GreenDot MoneyPak cards in order to release the device.[1][self-published source?][2]

Operation[edit]

The FBI ransomware starts often by being downloaded accidentally or visiting a corrupt website and running an application with a modified JavaScript code.[3] The virus starts with a splash screen that contains the FBI's official logo with a warning that the computer has been locked.[1] Depending on the version, the reason given is either because of alleged copyright violations or because of purported child pornography offences.[4] It will also show the supposed IP address and sometimes a still from the user's webcam. The virus then demands between $100 and $400 paid via pre-paid MoneyPak cards in order to release the computer.[1] If the payment is not made, then it alleges it will open a criminal investigation into the owner.[1] The virus does create an iframe loop which prevents the user exiting the browser or website.[3] The virus will be installed on the infected device so it still requires removal from the device.[5]

Reaction[edit]

In 2012, the FBI published advice relating to the FBI MoneyPak virus, telling people not to pay the ransom as it was not from the official FBI and confirmed it was not the real FBI who had locked the computers.[6] They also stated that users should go through authorized PC security firms to remove the ransomware or inform the IC3 – Internet Crime Complaint Center. In 2018, the FBI announced that working with the United Kingdom's National Crime Agency (NCA), they had arrested a number of people distributing the malware in the United States and that the NCA had arrested the creator of the virus in the United Kingdom.[6]

Some people had been fooled into thinking that the virus was a legitimate warning from the FBI. One man complained about the FBI blocking his phone for child pornography which was attributed to the virus; however, he had admitted that he did have child pornography and was arrested by the police.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Hand-To-Hand Combat With The Insidious 'FBI MoneyPak Ransomware Virus'". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-01-04.
  2. ^ "Reveton Ransomware". FBI. 2012-08-10. Retrieved 2019-04-01.
  3. ^ a b "FBI MoneyPak Ransomware". Government of New Jersey. 2016-07-05. Retrieved 2019-01-04.
  4. ^ "New Internet Scam". FBI. 2012-08-09. Retrieved 2019-01-04.
  5. ^ "Remove the FBI MoneyPak Ransomware or the Reveton Trojan". Bleepingcomputer.com. 2012-07-05. Retrieved 2019-01-04.
  6. ^ a b "Ransomware Abettor Sentenced". FBI. 2018-12-06. Retrieved 2019-01-04.
  7. ^ "Man gets fake FBI child porn alert, arrested for child porn". CNET. 2013-07-26. Retrieved 2019-01-04.