This is not a false alarm. It is being reported all over the Web. It is called CryptoLocker. It is already doing its work. It is an extortion virus. You must pay about $500 to get your computer back.
The other is called Gameover Zeus. It is after bank account data. They are both from inside Russia.
Here is a report from a British newspaper.
Internet users have two weeks to protect themselves against the GameOver Zeus and CryptoLocker viruses being used by criminal gangs to extort millions of pounds, US and UK security agencies announced on Monday.
The warning came after the FBI successfully disrupted a major cybercriminal network in the US from using the viruses to infect computers and steal data.
GameOver Zeus, also known as P2PZeuS, was designed by Russia and Ukrainian gangs to find and harness computer files that give access to banking and financial information, while Cryptolocker encrypts all files on a target’s computer and demands the user pays around £300 to unlock the file.
Almost 250,000 computers worldwide have been infected with CryptoLocker since it emerged in April and it has so far been used to extort payments of more than $27m (£16m), according to the FBI.
Passwords are vulnerable. Do not store them on your computer unless they are encrypted.
Recommended password apps include: PasswordBox, LastPass 3.0, and KeePass.
Almost no one is going to do this: have two separate accounts on your computer. One standard account should be for day-to-day use, while an ‘administrator’ account is used to make changes to the machine. This account should not be used often.
People may do this. Update your computer virus shield software. Run scans. I have done both.
Do not open email attachments unless you are certain they are authentic.
A few people may do this: Change your passwords. And this: back up your files.
A similar article was posted on MarketWatch. It is here.
The U.S. Government has posted a list of programs that can check your computer. The list is here.
An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.