Over the past couple of weeks there has been an increase in computers brought into The Mouse Pad in Mitchelstown with a virus which pretends to be from An Garda Síochána advising you that your computer has been locked as a result of visiting illegal websites etc.

This is not the case and you have in fact been infected by a virus.

Screenshot of the Computer Scam.
Screenshot of the Computer Scam.

Normally, the victim’s computer becomes infected with a virus due to visiting a website which contains the malware. Once the virus has activated, it locks the computer and causes the page to be displayed to the victim.

This page will display the logo of the victim’s local law enforcement agency and will contain a message accusing the victim of having committed illegal activity and demanding payment of a “fine” in order to return control of the computer back to its owner.

This virus is not unique to Ireland it has been doing the rounds around Europe since 2005-2006, but in recent months it seems to be infecting computers more and more in the Irish jurisdiction.

In the event that your computer is infected under no circumstances should you attempt to pay any fines. This is not a Garda initiative.

If you become infected by this malicious software you will be locked out of your computer and as in the case with all serious viruses, you should have your computer repaired by a reputable repair person. Where a person has been deceived into paying money, a report should be made to their local Garda Station.

Computer users should have anti-virus software and malware software installed and kept up to date on a regular basis to keep their computers safe from intrusion.

We always recommend that computers that have been infected by virus should be brought to a reputable PC Repair Centre such as The Mouse Pad for removal, as in many cases, remnants of the virus can remain on the computer’s hard drive slowing the system down and possible encouraging further infection.