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Online scammers using fake FBI message to demand money

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WASHINGTON — The FBI warned computer users on Thursday to ignore a fake message, purportedly from its officers, that freezes people’s screens and demands that they pay a fine for visiting inappropriate websites.

“We’re getting inundated with complaints,” said Donna Gregory from the US Internet Crime Complaint Center, referring to the virus known as Reveton ransomware, which has hit users in the United States and globally.

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“Some people have actually paid the so-called fine,” she said, describing the virus as “drive-by malware” that installs itself when a user clicks on a compromised website and issues a message saying a federal law has been broken.

“The bogus message goes on to say that the user’s Internet address was identified by the FBI or the Department of Justice’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section as having been associated with child pornography sites or other illegal online activity,” the FBI said in a statement.

“To unlock their machines, users are required to pay a fine using a prepaid money card service,” it said, accompanied by reports from victims who had paid fines of $200.

The Internet Crime Complaint Center is a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center and it was launched in 2000 to allow people to report cyber crimes to US law enforcement.

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Gregory, however, said there is no easy fix for users whose computers have been infected.

“Unlike other viruses, Reveton freezes your computer and stops it in its tracks. And the average user will not be able to easily remove the malware,” she said.


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Edward Snowden responds after Trump DOJ sues whistleblower over new memoir the US government ‘does not want you to read’

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The Justice Department filed suit the day Snowden's memoir Permanent Record was published.

Citing what First Amendment advocates have called an "unconstitutional" system of controlling what federal employees can and cannot say about their work, President Donald Trump's Justice Department on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden over the publication of his new memoir.

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Corey Lewandowski eventually proved Trump obstructed justice: former US attorney

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Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance explained in her appearance on MSNBC Tuesday that Corey Lewandowski's attempts to plead "hatchetman privilege" weren't successful. He ultimately outed Trump for breaking the law.

Lewandowski attempted to claim that he couldn't answer any questions about special counsel Robert Mueller's account because he hadn't read it. But the information he personally gave to Mueller was enough to corner both men.

"I mean, Donald Trump has been found to have committed felony finance crimes by the Southern District of New York. Donald Trump has been found -- committed ten acts of criminal obstruction of justice by Robert Mueller and his investigators," host Nicolle Wallace said. "And I think what Ron was just sort of pulling the curtain back on is his suspicion that that may not be the headline, that Corey Lewandowski today confirmed at least two of those instances of criminal obstruction of justice."

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‘Continuing cover-up’: Top House Democrat catches Lewandowski making statement that differs from Mueller Report

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"The American people deserve to know the truth."

A top House Democrat appears to have caught former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski making a statement that differs with a fact in the Mueller report. Lewandowski has spent several hours stonewalling, obfuscating, and doing his best to disrupt the Judiciary Committee on Tuesday in what is the first official House impeachment inquiry hearing.

"You stated earlier today that President Trump asked you to take dictation 'many times.' Is that correct?" Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) asked Lewandowski.

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