Viruses aren't going to disappear overnight, and their different variants are only going to evolve and be improved upon. Yet even with all the viruses kicking around, they rarely get coverage from authorities.
Ransomware is one of the flavors of virus you could discover, and the name says plenty. It restricts access to your computer and will demand cash to remove the restrictions. If you've ever installed a fake antivirus, that's a prime example of ransomware.
It's called Antivirus Pro. You know it's legit when it's called Pro!
The Metropolitan Police got round to issuing warnings about ransomware just recently, encouraging people not to fall for the deceptive tricks on display.
Most forms of ransomware are found by navigating to an infected webpage and either knowingly installing a file, or a 'drive-by download', where it will download without your consent. In any case you'll get a less-than-convincing error message and some restrictions applied.
The official Metropolitan Police warning reads as following:
We would advise anyone who has been deceived by such a message and parted with any money to report the offence to their local police by dialling "101" or your local police. Virus/Malware infections where no money has been lost can be logged at www.actionfraud.org.uk/report_fraud."
If you've ever been in a situation where you've installed ransomware, now is the time to act against it. Since these attacks are either growing more popular among hackers or the police have only just heard about them, it's worth logging them. Many people might not be savvy enough to know when to leave a webpage or scan their computer.