ACMA issues ransomware warning

Pop-up alert states the user’s computer has been locked because they accessed banned pornography

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has warned consumers about a ransomware scam which uses the logos of ACMA and the Australian Federal Police.

According to the consumer watchdog, the scam has been circulating on infected websites, email and Twitter for some time.

The ransomware causes infected computers to freeze with a pop-up alert appearing on the screen.

“The alert states that the user’s computer has been locked because of the user viewing or storing banned pornography and breaching various laws,” said ACMA social media producer Lousie Tapsell in a statement.

“The scammer claims that they will unlock the computer if a fee is paid.”

A countdown timer appears on the screen showing the remaining time in which the fee must be paid and a payment portal.

However, she said that payment of the ransom does not guarantee the user will gain control of their computer.

The ransomware is not isolated to Windows operating systems as a similar scam using the USA FBI identification is currently targeting MAC OS X.

“We recommend that you speak with a PC professional to remove the ransomware if you believe you have been infected,” Tapsell said.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU, or take part in the Computerworld conversation on LinkedIn: Computerworld Australia

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags ransomwareACMAscamonline securityAFP (Australian federal police)

More about Australian Federal PoliceFBIFederal Police

Show Comments