We are sad to learn that a 36 year old man in Romania killed himself and his son because of a common computer virus. The type of virus is malware, or a cryptovirus categorized as ransomware that typically locks a computer system and uses a message that claims the computer owner or user violated the law and must pay a hefty fine or face a deprivation of liberty for viewing prohibited. In this case child pornography was the reason. In other cases the virus may claim that the user also violated the law by using copyrighted content or spreading malware.
An example of this virus is the FBI virus that we discovered in early 2012; one of the most common computer viruses in the world.
After the ransomware virus makes fraudulent accusations, the message on the virus-screen will ask to pay a huge fine in order to avoid getting into the jail by using online credit services such as Green Dot MoneyPak or UKash vouchers. It’s believed that in this case, the fine mentioned was 70.000 lei or $22,000 USD. The man was also threatened by the virus that he may seek jail time. All of these were the determining factor that may have lead the Romanian man to commit suicide because of a computer virus; though it is also obviously that some form of mental stress or illness may have also played a role.
According to Romanian police, the 36 year-old man left a suicide note where he explained the unfortunate situation: “I received a warning that said I have to pay 70.000 lei or go to prison for 11 years. I don’t think it’s normal what I’ve done…I apologize to all of you…I don’t want Nicusor to suffer because of me…I can’t stand going to prison. I can’t.”
After collaborating with several Security based companies, Romanian police have managed to find a Romania-based server that has been assisting cyber criminals in making over $160,000 per year. The biggest amount of the fraudulent ‘fines’ were sent by unknowing Americans. However, Romanians have also fallen victims to ransomware infections and have been paying these fines.
The Romanian man who killed himself and his son is a very tragic event brought on by a computer virus. At this day in age, computer viruses and malware infections are becoming more and more aggressive. With this aggressiveness comes creativity, which means it’s easier to fall victim to these infections.
It’s important to be aware of your online presence and the presence of threats. In order to stay clear of dangerous computer viruses and malware alike the one this man in Romania faced, it is recommended to install and utilize Antivirus software with real-time computer protection.