Computer locked

L

Lyn

Guest
When using my Firefox browser, I get the message that my computer is locked and a number to call. It sounds like the old Microsoft scam. They don't even know what operating system I am using. No, I am not telling them, but I can't use the FF browser. The only tech in my small town that understands Linux is unavailable. I've read that browsers can be infected while the computer is not. I don't know enough about this to help myself. Can someone advise ?
 


A

arochester

Guest
1) What is the EXACT message?
2) If your computer is locked how are you posting to this thread?
 
L

Lyn

Guest
1) What is the EXACT message?
2) If your computer is locked how are you posting to this thread?
I am afraid to open FF, but it says my computer is locked and that all of my passwords, credit card information has been stolen. It gives me a number to call. I did call it, but the person that answered did not know what operating system I was using, so I suspected that it was a scam. I did not provide any information.

I am using Google Chrome as my browser right now. That's how I got here. Although, when I turn on my computer, I have to enter the password for my router. My tech set it up so that I didn't have to enter it every time. I do not have a functioning Google email addy and have been able to get to my email provider by using a Google search.

When I open the FF browser, my mouse no longer works and I cannot open any sites on FF. I can open them when I am on Google Chrome.
 
A

arochester

Guest
1) If you are posting from your computer - it is not locked.
2) If your passwords and credit card information has been stolen - they have been stolen. If there is any indication that has been done, change your details.
3) If we do not know which ransomeware/scam is used then we cannot advise you how to deal with it.
4) Suggest keep on using Google Chrome instead of FF. Make sure you have a firewall installed.
 
L

Lyn

Guest
Thank you for taking the time to respond.

1) I believe the Firefox browser is locked and don't know how to fix that. I prefer FF over Google for many reasons.
2) I don't know if there is something in my computer that may be following my keystrokes. Is that possible ?
I have not checked my bank account while on line. I'll go down to the bank today and check for activity.
I do not follow my credit cards online and only use on cc with a small limit for online purchases. I called for recent transactions. So far, there has been no activity.
3) I have a print screen of the first error message which I will attach. The print screen function did not work after the second error message appeared with the message that personal data had been stolen with a phone number to call. (Note: that the message appears to come from Microsoft is what made me suspicious.)
4) With my tech unavailable to advise me, I don't know what firewall to install for my new computer. Suggestions ?

Again, thank you for your support. I feel like I am hanging out here alone.

O joy. I just got a message that FF will not allow me to save a libreOffice Writer doc. I saved the attached file with print screen images using Microsoft Word 2007-2013 XML (.docx)

Well that didn't work either.

Instead of imbedding the print screens in a word processing doc, I have just they were saved in the file system. I had planned to enlarge them for your use.
 

Attachments

A

arochester

Guest
Google say it is a scam. https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!msg/webmasters/o0_GlcQGI6w/j53q5niFDgAJ
They tell you how to clean out Chrome.

Malwarebytes says it is a scam https://forums.malwarebytes.com/top...-rdnyahloverworm055bccac9fec/#comment-1044827

You need to clean out FF. I don't use FF, so I am not the best person to tell you how to do it.
I would purge (remove totally) Firefox, delete any Firefox configuration file(s) and reinstall it from Repository. If it has a Pop-up blocker, make sure that it is turned on.

Unfortunately, there are a number of fake virus scanners available and unless you know what you are doing they should be avoided.

....By the way, your screenshots show that you are using Ubuntu...
 
L

Lyn

Guest
Thank you for confirming my suspicion that this was a scam.

I just got this computer at the end of December and am at the very beginning of my learning curve. I haven't stayed up with technology nor have I written code since my collage days back when they were teaching Fortran.

I really do not know how to clean FF off of this computer .. especially now that I know it is compromising LibreOffice Writer. AND I don't even know what you mean by "Repository". Not to worry. I'll contact Mozilla for that information.

Thank you for letting me know I am using Ubuntu. I am so new at this, I thought Linux and Ubuntu were synonymous. I did find a Ubuntu support site.
 
C

Crippled

Guest
When using my Firefox browser, I get the message that my computer is locked and a number to call. It sounds like the old Microsoft scam. They don't even know what operating system I am using. No, I am not telling them, but I can't use the FF browser. The only tech in my small town that understands Linux is unavailable. I've read that browsers can be infected while the computer is not. I don't know enough about this to help myself. Can someone advise ?
That's ransomware. Un-install Firefox and do a reboot. Re-install Firefox from your package manager. If that doesn't work. Install Clam and ClamTK from your package manager and update it and run a scan. You may get some false positives so I recommend you quarantine what ever it finds.
 
L

Lyn

Guest
Hi Crippled ... I just found that you had responded on this forum with notices in my spam folder this morning. Please forgive me for the long delay in answering your post.

I met with my tech yesterday and he explained what I was seeing and how this "scareware" worked. (btw ... I like your name for it, Ransomware.) It appears that there is code embedded in the error message page that disables the user's mouse so that an uninformed user, me, would think their computer was locked. It's not. It's only locked as long as that page is open.

The fix was quite simple. Closing down the computer completely and then re-booting and opening FF brings up a page from FF saying that they are "embarrassed because they cannot open the browser" and a list of the pages that were open the last time the browser was in use. That list included all of the tabs I had open when the scareware message popped up and "locked" my computer. The list included the page for the scareware. Unchecking all of the boxes and then clicking the RESTORE button at the bottom of that page allowed FF to go back to a point prior to where it was before the scareware page appeared.

At that point FF was completely functional again because the scareware page did not open. There was no need to reinstall FF.

R did run scans to check my computer to see if there were any problems and my computer was totally clean.

This particular scareware does not really compromise the browser and does not get past the firewall or the virus protection I already had loaded on the computer. You can see the print screens on my post above to see what scareware I was dealing with this week. I am not certain that all scams of this nature work this way, so I have copied your advice for future reference. Thank you.

I have since purchased an external hard drive to back up my computer so that I don't go into a panic mode if I cannot get help immediately.
 
C

Crippled

Guest
Hi Crippled ... I just found that you had responded on this forum with notices in my spam folder this morning. Please forgive me for the long delay in answering your post.

I met with my tech yesterday and he explained what I was seeing and how this "scareware" worked. (btw ... I like your name for it, Ransomware.) It appears that there is code embedded in the error message page that disables the user's mouse so that an uninformed user, me, would think their computer was locked. It's not. It's only locked as long as that page is open.

The fix was quite simple. Closing down the computer completely and then re-booting and opening FF brings up a page from FF saying that they are "embarrassed because they cannot open the browser" and a list of the pages that were open the last time the browser was in use. That list included all of the tabs I had open when the scareware message popped up and "locked" my computer. The list included the page for the scareware. Unchecking all of the boxes and then clicking the RESTORE button at the bottom of that page allowed FF to go back to a point prior to where it was before the scareware page appeared.

At that point FF was completely functional again because the scareware page did not open. There was no need to reinstall FF.

R did run scans to check my computer to see if there were any problems and my computer was totally clean.

This particular scareware does not really compromise the browser and does not get past the firewall or the virus protection I already had loaded on the computer. You can see the print screens on my post above to see what scareware I was dealing with this week. I am not certain that all scams of this nature work this way, so I have copied your advice for future reference. Thank you.

I have since purchased an external hard drive to back up my computer so that I don't go into a panic mode if I cannot get help immediately.
Your welcome. Sounds great. The external hard drive for backups is the way to go. What's strange is the last time I experienced anything similar to what you have experienced was when I used Windows. Just out of curiosity, which anti-virus program you use and which Linux distro?
 


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