The Spookiest Viruses Online Today

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. This is an internationally-recognized campaign that aims to spread cybersecurity awareness. In the last week of this year’s campaign, we will be sharing some facts on the spookiest viruses online today.

If you missed our previous blogs for Cybersecurity Awareness Month, you can check them out below:

General Traits of Scary Viruses

Scary viruses are also known as scareware. These are malicious files designed to scare you into paying the hacker or scammer by showing you messages informing you that your computer is infected with a virus.

These viruses often appear in the form of a pop-up or an image that displays on your entire computer screen. Some have the ability to destroy your computer’s data if they are not backed up, or lock up your computer and scare you into paying a ransom for your files. Continue reading below to learn more about some of these scary viruses.

Cascade

This is a virus that showed up in the early years of computers on DOS operating systems. On infected computers, Cascade would cause the letters on the screen to drop, or cascade down. Not only can it be scary to watch the text on your screen fall apart, but Cascade also makes the computing process useless when it is in action.

Cascade would cause the letters on a computer screen to drop, or cascade down

Scary Pop-up Messages

These scary pop-up messages are designed to take over your computer screen, making it difficult for you to navigate around them. The messages in these pop-up messages can scare you into paying a scammer, allowing scammers access to your computer files, or clicking on links that download more viruses on your computer.

Warning! Your computer is infected (fake microsoft message)
The messages in these pop-up messages are designed to spook you out.

Gruel

Gruel, also known as the Fakerr virus was an older computer virus and is classified as a computer worm. It spread via email by posing as an email attachment that claims to be an important Microsoft update. When activated it displays this scary message:

“Your computer now is mine, Why? Because I didn’t had nothing to do and I thought, why not make the evil? Remember NOW YOUR PC IS IN MY POWER Windows Sucks!”

The message also goes on for a few more sentences and works to remove the “Run” option from your computer’s Start menu, making it very difficult to remove.

Petya

Petya is a recent virus that is still infecting computers today and causing havoc around the globe. When activated, the virus spooks people out by displaying a giant image of a skull on their computer screen, followed by the message:

“You have become a victim of the Petya Ransomware”.

Petya Ransomware skull display
The Petya virus spooks people out by displaying a giant image of a skull.

The message goes on to outline some ways the user can pay the ransom to unlock their files. However, paying the ransom will not unlock your files as Petya’s creators never had the intention of sending you a decryption key to unlock your files.

Petya Ransomware text display

Protecting Yourself from Spooky Viruses

Since these viruses are designed to scare you, the first thing to do when you run into these viruses is to not get spooked out! That way, you can still think logically to avoid paying a large ransom or falling further into the virus’ scams.

As a preventative measure, consider backing up all the files on your computer so that if your computer does get infected, you will not lose these files.

And of course, harvest the power of antivirus software like McAfee Total Protection antivirus and the FixMeStick virus removal device for virus prevention and removal!

30 comments

  1. Anonymous - Reply

    We have had a lot of trouble with the virus Your computer is infected.
    Luckily we live close to a microsoft store and they help you free of charge.
    Excellent service

    • Linda - Reply

      Hi there, thanks for your comment. It sounds like your computer may have popups.

      You might come across popups when you’re surfing online. These advertisement windows block your screen, but they do not install anything on your computer. Since they don’t download, FixMeStick will not wipe them from your computer. However, we’re happy to give pointers of how to get them off your screen.

      Here’s a blog post on how to get rid of popups in Task Manager. We also recommend you download a free adblocker. And of course, if you get free support from the Microsoft Store, that’s definitely a great option. If you have a FixMeStick, you can also email us at support@fixmestick.com and we can help you with this for free as well.

  2. Sharon Daye - Reply

    Hello…. I use Duckduckgo as my browser, is that a good browser? It does not track or keep your info. Tks Sharon

    • Linda - Reply

      Hi Sharon, DuckDuckGo is a search engine and is not classified as an internet browser. You can definitely use it to look things up without being tracked online!

  3. Horst Huber - Reply

    Hi Linda.
    Thanks for your mail. I had a few times a scary pop up.( warning – your PC is infected ).
    I turned of my computer and run fix me stick and everything came out clean.

    Thanks again. great product. Horst

  4. William Haynes - Reply

    Only recently I experienced what you call a pop-up and immediately ran a fixme stick scan. Problem solved ! It is helpful to see other that examples you have shown but there are others too. I have had several that claimed some difficulty with a credit card transaction or a banking issue and wanted me to contact their site.

    • Linda - Reply

      Thanks for sharing your experience, William! It’s great to see that you did not fall for these pop-up scams.

  5. Gerald Scott - Reply

    Hi linda i love your product i am having a strange problem with my computer sometimes the screen turns blue and says Microsoft needs to shut down then it counts down from 1 to 100 percent then reboots itself it looks like its trying to download something but it not successful a week or 2 later it happens again

    • Linda - Reply

      Hi Gerald, it seems like this could be a Microsoft issue. Could you take a look at this handy guide here and see if it can help diagnose the problem. You can also run a FixMeStick scan to make sure your computer does not have any viruses that are causing this. If you have any questions about the FixMeStick scan, please email us at support@fixmestick.com and we’ll look into this for you.

        • Linda - Reply

          Hi Chris, yes you’re right! It looks like DuckDuckGo currently offers a mobile version of their browser which can be downloaded onto smartphones and tablets. Thanks for pointing that out!

  6. Anonymous - Reply

    THANKS LINDA THOSE POP UPS SCANNERS NO LONGER SUCH AN TREAT THANKS TO FIX ME STICK. THANKS VERY MUCH !!!!!!

    • Linda - Reply

      Hi Marie, I don’t see any recent orders in our system that’s registered under your Hotmail email. Could you email us at support@fixmestick.com with your billing information so we can look up this order for you? Thank you!

  7. William J Quirk - Reply

    I run my Fix Me Stick usually once a month sometimes more! I feel safe using this and since using it, over a year now, my scan’s are always clean with nothing detected! Well worth the price!

  8. Andy Whiteman - Reply

    My Fix-Me-Stick keeps detecting software that I WANT and NEVER anything bad. Why can’t it whitelist my software so I don’t have to override it on each scan?

    • Linda - Reply

      Hi Johnny, the current version of the FixMeStick was not designed to support tablets or smartphone use – including Androids. We recommend using an antivirus software like McAfee which can be downloaded onto Android smartphones.

  9. David Holmes - Reply

    How much bad stuff does a fix me stick hold? I have two computers and was wondering if the stick notifies you that it can no longer clean your computer?

    • Linda - Reply

      Hi David, I checked the FixMeStick registered under your email address and saw that you were able to run a successful scan earlier this week. The FixMeStick should be able to quarantine and hold any viruses that are found. If you ever run into any issues where FixMeStick isn’t able to remove (or hold) a virus, do contact us at support@fixmestick.com and we can look into it for you.

  10. Dwight Gering - Reply

    Linda : I have Fixmestick and have had it for years but recently I have tried to run the program and CAN NOT GET IT TO WORK ( HELP) I get it all set up and start the run and the screen goes black and i get
    XZ- compressed
    data is corrupt
    –system halted=
    and it goes no further I am VERY FRUSTRATED !

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