Police issue warning about new computer virus

The Computer Crime Unit of Belgium's federal police has issued a warning in connection with a new form of computer fraud. Internet users should watch out for a new virus that claims to be the police and asks them to transfer cash because they allegedly committed crimes on the internet.

Since February 2012 the so called 'police ransomware' virus has claimed countless victims on the internet. The virus blocks a user's computer and shows a screen with a message claiming to be from the police alleging that the user has committed a crime online. In order to unblock the computer the user is asked to transfer funds.

A new variant of this virus has now emerged. This virus locks all files. Operating systems continue to function, but important tools are affected and several important tools are deactivated. At present the police do not possess sufficient information to say how the fault can be repaired.

So far no reports of the new virus have been confirmed in Belgium, but the police say that it is only a matter of time. They stress that prevention is the best approach. The police recommend that you make regular back-ups and install a decent antivirus programme.