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Police issue computer malware warning

The police has warned against a computer malware programme, known as police ransomware involving the misuse of the Malta Police Force logo.

Computer systems infected with police ransomware display a warning message claiming that the user’s computer had been “suspended on the grounds of unauthorised cyber activity” and that a fine has to be paid for the computer to be unblocked.

The user will notice that the computer has seized up or that his documents are no longer accessible. In almost all cases, paying the ransom does not restore the computer to its original state.

The police said that no law enforcement agency, including the Malta Police Force, collected fines in this manner.

“Such computer messages claiming to be from the Malta Police Force are fraudulent. Users targeted by police ransomware should not pay any money,” the police said.

It said that anyone who has been deceived into paying the ransom money should lodge a police report providing as much information as possible – including a screenshot of the ransom message presented, payment information, details of the activity being undertaken on the computer when the ransom message appeared as well as the date and time when this happened.

The police said it has not yet received any reports of people who have fallen victim to this type of malware.

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