In the computer world, there are new threats arising every day in the form of malware, viruses and spyware. They are all designed to get personal information off of your computer like bank account information, social security numbers and credit card information. No matter what, they are all disruptive and when caught, if not taken care of quickly, can mean the end of the life of a hard drive. There is a new species of malware that has begun infecting PCs worldwide. This malware actually uses file-sharing sites that are seemingly trustworthy. Then, out of nowhere, the malware creator will publish any user’s internet history publicly, usually on some sort of frequently visited website. When you find that this has happened to you and you want to get rid of that information about your internet history, the malware will then prompt you to pay a fee in order to have it removed.
Here’s a little history about this annoying and destructive malware program. This particular program originated in Japan and works in the form of a trojan virus. After being caught, it will install itself onto any computer’s hard drive using a file sharing service that many people use called Winni. Its main target are those people who have in the past downloaded illegal game copies of an explicit version of anime.
So far, over 5,000 people have reportedly been injected. The virus has been given the name Kenzero and is being closely monitored by various web security firms in Japan to ensure that it will not spread. It disguises itself as a game install screen and when it has full access to a PC, it will set to work stealing personal information and will begin disrupting various programs on the hard drive. Because it targets people who are illegally downloading games, it will then send a notification to the user letting them know that the authorities know that they are violating copyright law and if the user does not pay 1500 yen, they will be arrested or fined. Often, that is enough to get a person to pay the faulty bribery fee.
If the user refuses to pay the fee, the malware will tag them and start sending messages to the user talking about possible impending charges and court cases. Often, the program will give them several chances to pay the fee before the supposed action will take place. If a person does pay the fee, their card information will then be stolen and unauthorized charges could begin if proper action is not taken against the theft.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to see if you may be at risk:
Do you ever open emails from unknown senders?
When was the last time you scanned your computer for viruses?
Do you have a 2010 version of antivirus protection installed in your computer?
Does your computer feel bogged down? Is it running slower than the day you purchased it?
Is your personal information (such as date of birth, hometown, names of family members, etc.) readily available on any of the social networking sites?
If you answered YES to any of these questions you may be at serious risk!
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George Steel – Covers internet security issues, malicious sites, computer virus threats from all around the world, and general technology breaking news for Antivirus Help Center.