Fraudsters who make money off of online scams can be pretty good at what they do. A few years ago, scammers devised a ransomware that caught browsers off guard and many even paid the price, literally. The ransomware displayed a message (through malicious websites or a websites that were hacked) that claimed to be from Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) warning the victims of illegal downloads or copyright infringement. Hence, the name FBI virus.
The scheme worked well in PC domain for years, and now the perpetrators are targeting the ever-growing mobile market. The main challenge for victims of FBI virus, as with any other ransomware attacks, is that the virus has the ability to actually lock your device. For the fear of having accidentally downloaded something, people pay the $100 fee that the criminals demand in a feat of desperation. After all, nobody would purposely want to earn a criminal background by messing with the FBI sleuths, right?
But paying ransom is not the best – and the only – way to resolve the problem. In fact, you could be promoting their tactics by paying the ransom amount, or worst, you may be exhibiting the Stockholm syndrome by sympathising with their cause. In an event you are confronted with the FBI virus, or a variation of such malwares, here are the things you can possibly do.
1. Restart your Android device on a Safe Mode.
When you reboot your phone or table on a Safe Mode, it will generally avoid loading any third-party softwares.
To restart your device on a Safe Mode is a little tricky; you have to hold your Power button, and long press the Power Off option to be able to see the reboot in Safe Mode option.
Once you reboot, the FBI ransomware won’t show up because the device will open with its default settings and softwares.
Note that this is a general way of restarting your device on a Safe Mode, and might vary from one device to another.
2. Uninstall the malicious app
For many Android owners, the problem starts because they have “Allow installation of apps from unknown sources” enabled in their phones without them realizing. This makes it possible for apps from the same trojan family that devised FBI virus to automatically install themselves in a user’s phone.
It has been found that the app installs most likely in the name of BaDoink, a reference to an online porn website, but criminals might name it anything. You have to uninstall it in order to get rid of the ransomware. Here’s how:
– Go to your phone Settings
– Tap on Apps
– From the list of installed apps, select BaDoink (or other suspicious app that you didn’t authorise) and click “Uninstall.”
To reiterate, the uninstallation process might be different depending on what kind of device you have, but there will be a workaround that is close to the process mentioned above.
3. Remove the virus using Comodo Antivirus for Android
Comodo has a long-standing fight with virus and the brand has made a foray into the mobile community realizing that is where the future action is.
Comodo Antivirus for Android is a free application that prevents threats from infecting your phone/tablet, and cleans the device for risky processes.
Downloading a reliable mobile security app like Comodo Antivirus minimizes the chances of encountering scareware and ransomware problems in the future. So the next time you see an FBI warning message in your Android device, probably with a picture of Uncle Sam pointing a finger towards you accusing you of illegal downloads, remember that there is a better way to get rid of the virus than coughing up a hefty amount.
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