Comcast removes "FBI virus" from Knoxville woman's computer

Comcast removes "FBI virus" from Knoxville woman's computer

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"I was thinking, well shucks, I'm going to have to get a new computer. I didn't want to do that," said Judy. "I was thinking, well shucks, I'm going to have to get a new computer. I didn't want to do that," said Judy.
The FBI virus, referred to as the FBI Moneypak Virus, is dangerous mal ware. However, it's not associated with the government. The FBI virus, referred to as the FBI Moneypak Virus, is dangerous mal ware. However, it's not associated with the government.
"We couldn't use our computer," said Judy's husband Walter Burns. "You couldn't get off the site. You could not get onto any other site." "We couldn't use our computer," said Judy's husband Walter Burns. "You couldn't get off the site. You could not get onto any other site."
"They can call us and we can talk them through it on the phone, which is what Mrs. Burns did," said Russell Byrd. "Or, we can do an online chat with customers and they talk with an expert and they try to repair their computers." "They can call us and we can talk them through it on the phone, which is what Mrs. Burns did," said Russell Byrd. "Or, we can do an online chat with customers and they talk with an expert and they try to repair their computers."

By DON DARE
6 On Your Side Consumer Investigator

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The so-called FBI virus has been corrupting computers of unsuspecting victims for several months now, including some in East Tennessee.

The FBI virus, referred to as the FBI Moneypak Virus, is dangerous malware. However, it's not associated with the government.

Some computer shops and Internet service providers can remove the virus.

Judy Burns' desktop computer is operating again. She can go online and shop from home with total ease of mind.

She admits, however, there were some heart-stopping moments a few weeks ago when her computer froze and warning dominated the screen.

"It took up the whole screen. It said United States Department of Justice," said Burns.  She says the message claimed she had download illegal material and was in trouble.

Burns described the message, "In order to unlock your computer, you must pay a fee of $300 through Money Pak."

"We couldn't use our computer," said Judy's husband Walter Burns. "You couldn't get off the site. You could not get onto any other site."

The message was actually malware and her computer was being held hostage. She was instructed to pay a fine by buying a Money Pak card and give the code to the would-be scammers to avoid prosecution.

"I was thinking, well shucks, I'm going to have to get a new computer. I didn't want to do that," said Judy.

Mrs. Burns was unsure of how to remove the virus.

Five months ago, 6 News reported that computer repair shops can do the job and were busy removing the malware from their customers' computers.

But Judy decided to call her Internet provider first and asked for customer service. "She said turn your tower off then turn it back on. So I did that," said Judy.

But the screen was still frozen. A simple fix apparently was out of the question.

Burns described the process, "And she said we will have to send you to the advanced technical support division."

Russell Byrd, senior public affairs director for Comcast, says the company's 24-hour-a-day signature support group can help customers with computer problems like Judy was experiencing.

"They can call us and we can talk them through it on the phone, which is what Mrs. Burns did," said Byrd. "Or, we can do an online chat with customers and they talk with an expert and they try to repair their computers."

Judy thought the experience was wonderful. "He just took over my computer. I could see him moving the mouse, files going down rolling around."

"So, they're able to go step-by-step. And Mrs. Burns was able to watch what the technician was doing," said Byrd.

Comcast says there is a fee for the service that Mrs. Burns used. But she and her husband said their computer was up and running without having to unplug.

"It was a thankful solution for a terrible problem," said Walter.

There are other safe ways of removing the ransomware.

There are free and paid versions of anti-malware software such as AVG and Norton. Both have documented to scan and remove the FBI Money Pak virus.

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