It is not very pleasant to one day find that fake Metropolitan Police or Police Central e-crime Unit warnings have taken over your desktop. This type of scam is most commonly spread through spam emails and compromised websites. These are all ransomware infections, and there is one thing that is common in all of them – Ukash. Although Ukash is a genuine and legitimate money transfer company, scammers use it in order to collect their ransom. It is so widely used with ransomware infections that they are now called the Ukash virus. This virus has all kinds of version, most recent of which are the FBI Virus and Met Police Virus.
If you get infected by ransomware, your screen will be locked, and you will see a message allegedly from your local police department. The message will claim that the police has detected illegal contents on your computer and will press charges if you do not pay their “fine”, around $300. Of course, this being a scam means that you should not at any cost pay anything. Even if you find the “find” a small sum to get access to your computer back, there is no sure way to know whether paying will actually really result in unlocking your desktop. Law enforcement agencies suggest that, instead of paying the fine, you should immediately contact them and report the crime.
The first ransomware infection appeared in 1989. It was a DOS program, and it require installation from a diskette. It replaced autoexec.bat with an altered version and counted the number of times the computer was rebooted. When the count hit 90, it encrypted all the computer files, rendering the computer unusable until the ransom was paid. The encryption algorithm was not very sophisticated, so it was easy to get rid of the virus. Nowadays, twenty-something years later, ransomware infections work in pretty much the same way.
It was around 2005 that the next type of ransomware infections appeared. They were in the form of cryptoware, and they started encrypting files on infected PC by using public and private keys. Then, by late 2006, the malicious infections started to use the even more sophisticated RSA encryption algorithm, which uses longer encryption keys. But none of these viruses used Ukash back then.
The Ukash Virus was first discovered in 2011, and it quickly proved to be the most sophisticated and hard virus to beat. This virus is especially cunning because you do not even have to download or click on anything to get infected. It is mostly aimed at sites with adult content or warez sites, but potentially any website can be infected so even if you avoid suspicious websites, you can still be infected.
When the virus penetrates your system, it will lock your screen and encrypt all your files, rendering the computer unusable. Although not all version of the Ukash virus encrypt files, they are still a great danger. Usually, your screen is locked, and all you can see is a notification from a local law enforcement agency. According to the notification, you are accused of having pornographic content on your PC or having illegally downloaded copyrighted materials. Some of the more aggressive version and may display some of the adult content you allegedly have on your computer. Other version may even put your webcam to use and claim that you will be monitored until you pay the “fine”. The message will also say that you have 48 to comply.
If you are familiar with how law enforcement agencies act or what the laws constitute, you will quickly come to the assumption that something fishy is going on. If you are accused of such illegal activities by the FBI or any Police department, they will show up at your door with a warrant for your arrest. Such charges cannot be avoided by simply paying a fine. Actually, they may lead to some serious prison time.
If your files get encrypted, there is a high chance that you will not manage to get them back. Because of that it is vital to keep your important files backed up on some on a removable device. If you wish to avoid getting infected by such a virus altogether, then it is recommended that you invest in a reliable malware detection and removal program for your computer. It will protect you from such infections. You should also make sure that it is updated regularly, although most antivirus programs do this automatically.
Another thing to note is that Ukash viruses can also be used as a gateway to grant access to other Trojans. These can acquire your usernames and passwords for various websites, as well as record your keystrokes. Other data such as credit card numbers, personal credential, online banking accounts and passwords, etc. will also be in danger.
Here is how to remove Ukash virus automatically:
- Reboot your system and press the F8 key.
- From Windows Advanced Options menu, which is displayed, choose Safe Mode with Networking.
- Download and install SpyHunter.
- Install this security tool and make sure you delete Ukash Virus completely.