New viruses damaging computers and stealing information

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Every week there are hundreds of thousands of new computer viruses released.

Any of us could have an infected computer and not even know it.  This week alone two new viruses are affecting people here in Region eight. 

"If you're connected to the internet you can get infected," said Corey Lemieux with Millenium 3 in Jonesboro.

College student Jarvis Brodie said he uses his laptop for hours every day.  Knowing what could be out there, he doesn't click on a lot of the links that pop up on his computer.

"It could be a virus.  It could be someone trying to steal from you or steal your personal information, it could be anybody," said Brodie.

"People just don't pay attention.  They're in their own little zone and if something pops up that looks interesting they fall for it,' said Maria Frank.

In a two day period 600,000 Facebook users clicked on a link that said. "Hey, I just made a photoshop of you," and their information was stolen.

"It's just because it's so popular.  You have everyone who is on there and it's an easy quick way to target," said Lemieux.

There are anywhere from 100,000 200,000 new viruses every week.  Including one experts at Millenium 3 say is one of the nastiest they've ever seen.

"It is usually spread thorough pictures, PDF's, things like that.  It doesn't actually wipe your hard drive out.  it hijacks it and encrypts it," said Lemieux.

Lemieux said this is a new version of an old virus that encrypted the computer once, this one encrypts it twice.  Your computer is hijacked by the virus and the "creator" wants you to pay a ransom to get your information back.

"These people are criminals.  They've already stolen your hard drive and the contents of it so do you really want to send a criminal $125," said Lemieux.

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