Authorities warn of ransomware, which locks down a user's system in return for a fine for alleged illegal activity

German officials warn of child porn virus

Federal police in Germany have issued a warning over an emerging computer virus, which accuses its victims of viewing "juvenile pornography".

Once the virus infects a Windows based system, it locks the computer down and displays an image that claims the user have viewed images of child sexual abuse on the device, or accessed illegally downloaded copyrighted material.

Users are then prompted to pay a fine of €100 (£86) in order to regain access to the system.

The virus claims to be acting on behalf of German copyright authorities and the country’s computer security agency.

However, German police have labelled the tactic as "digital extortion" and advised victims of the virus not to pay the fine.

Warnings over the virus have been issued by Germany’s Federal Criminal police office – otherwise known as the BKA – which stated that the organisation did not collect cash in the manner described by the virus and that users should not pay the fine "under any circumstances."

It also advised affected users to use a form of anti-virus or other security software to remove the infection from their system.

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