Man falls for ransomware attack, gets busted for child porn

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Man falls for ransomware attack, gets busted for child porn

The law of unintended consequences strikes.

A US man turned himself into police and faces child pornography charges after believing a ransomware scam to be real.

The money-hungry crooks behind the ransomware attacks probably never thought they'd help police net an arrest, but that's exactly what happened when a computer belonging to Jay Riley, 21, recently was hit with their malware.

The infection attempted to extort cash from a victim by flashing a warning message pretending to be from the FBI and claiming the victim committed an illegal act online, typically downloading child porn or using or distributing copyrighted music or videos, according to a report on InsideNoVa.com.

Many fall for the scam, according to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, and computer security experts advise users to never pay any money and to contact professionals to help them remove the infection from their machines.

Riley not only believed the message was true, but he went one step further than emptying his pockets: He drove himself to the police station, with his computer, to ask if there were active warrants out for his arrest.

After a voluntary search, police found "several inappropriate messages and photos of underage girls" on his machine, a spokesman said, according to the news report.

Following the discovery, authorities executed a search warrant on his home, examined additional computers and charged him with three counts of possession of child pornography, one count of using a communication device to solicit certain offenses involving children and one count of indecent liberties with a minor, according to the report.

Riley is being held without bail.

This article originally appeared at scmagazineus.com

Copyright © SC Magazine, US edition
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