How to Remove the Blackmail Virus

There are multiple variants of the blackmail virus, all of which attempt to extort money from the user under threat. Sometimes known as "ransomware," the virus may generate a notice that appears to be an official warning from the FBI or other law enforcement agency, or it may plainly state that unless you fork over cash, the perpetrator will wipe out your hard drive. Good anti-virus software may prevent ransomware from infecting your computer, or may help in deleting it, but if you find yourself the victim of cyber blackmail, it may be too late to deploy anti-virus programs. There is, however, a solution. The most effective way to get rid of the blackmailer is to quickly perform a System Restore to bring the computer back to a state before the infection took place.

Secret
Cybercriminals sometimes posing as law enforcement may try to extort money with a tricky virus. Don't give in to them.
credit: Hlib Shabashnyi/iStock/Getty Images

Step

If you are able to click the Windows Start button, do so. This is the round icon with the Windows logo on the left of the taskbar. Alternately, you can press the Windows button on your keyboard. Type "System Restore" in the search box to find the System Restore feature. Select it from the results to view the System Restore wizard. Follow the steps in the wizard, and restore your computer to a point in time before the time you first encountered the virus.

Step

If the blackmail virus has frozen your computer, you may not be able to access System Restore as described in Step 1. If that is the case, power down the PC and turn it back on. Press the F8 key as soon as the screen shows activity. Continue pressing F8 until you see the Advanced Boot Options menu. Select "Repair Your Computer" and press "Enter."

Step

It is possible that after restoring your system, you may find that the blackmail virus hid some of your files in an attempt to make you believe they were deleted or encrypted. If it appears that files are missing, click the Windows Start button or press the Windows key on your keyboard, then select Computer from the menu. Press the Alt key to view the Menu bar, then select "Tools" then "Folder options." Select the "View" tab in the Folder Options dialog box. Under Hidden Files and Folders, click the "Show Hidden files, folders, and drives" radio button. Click "OK." Any files and that were hidden will now be visible.