Monday, July 29, 2013

Fake FBI warning tricks man into surrendering himself for possession of child porn

Here’s a weird one. We’ve heard of viruses and malware bringing harm to computers but in a rare instance, a “ransomware” has brought a positive outcome. A man in the US turned himself in to the police after a pop-up caused by a ransomware informed him that child porn had been identified on his machine.

Jay Matthew Riley, a 21-year-old from Virginia was browsing the Internet, when a pop-up containing an “FBI warning” informed him that it had detected child pornography on his machine. The message went on to tell Riley to pay up a fine online or face the consequences.
It was only a ransomware
It was only a ransomware

Now, we guess fear paralyses your brain a little too much, since Riley ended up doing the unexpected and took his computer to the Garfield District police station in Woodbridge to ask if there were any warrants out for him in a child pornography case. The Special Victims Bureau then began an investigation into the case and examined his computer, finding several inappropriate messages and photos of underage girls.

The Prince William Daily Monitor said that detectives identified one of the girls in data found from Riley’s computer as a 13-year-old from Minnesota. Following the discovery, a search warrant was issued for Riley and his computers and other electronic devices were seized. He was arrested on July 23 and charged with three counts of possession of child pornography, one count of using a communication device to solicit certain offenses involving children and one count of indecent liberties with a minor. Riley is currently being held without a bond.

Ransomwares, a type of malware, are known to lock down a computer till a ransom amount for an alleged crime is paid up online. It’s a kind of scare tactic that is used to extort money by locking down the user’s system till he has given the money. Such malware are also known to sometimes plant data like images and documents onto a system. It is hard to, therefore, say whether or not Riley actually had these images on his computer beforehand. The investigation is still underway and details are sketchy.

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