Sheldon, Iowa — A computer virus is sweeping the nation, and it has hit Sheldon. But it doesn’t look like a virus. It looks like the FBI has locked down your computer, and they won’t release it until you’ve paid a fine.
The FBI says it’s not from them.
Officer Rob Hegenbarth at the Sheldon Police Department says they have received two complaints from people in Sheldon in regard to the virus in the last week. Wayne Barahona with Super Hi Tech in Sheldon says they’ve probably worked on twelve computers infected with the virus in the last week. Barahona gives us a little background on the virus.
That’s bad enough. But then the creators of the virus attempt to extort money from the computer user, he says.
Barahona says the real bad news about this virus is that NO ONE is safe — even those with up-to-date virus protection.
Barahona says he doesn’t know where it comes from because they have had computers come in from every type of user from the heavy internet surfer and social media user all the way down to people who just use their computer for email.
The FBI says the virus, used by hackers in conjunction with Citadel malware — a software delivery platform that can disseminate various kinds of computer viruses — first came to their attention in 2011.
They say you should not pay any money or provide any personal information.
Barahona says if you run into the virus, a qualified computer repair center such as Super Hi Tech should be able to remove it. But if not, there’s always the option to erase everything and start over. That’s why Barahona says:
He says that’s good advice not only due to the threat of the FBI virus, but computer hardware does occasionally fail. He says a back up should include all your documents, pictures, videos, movies, favorites, and anything else you don’t want to lose.