Have you ever come across this situation: computer gets completely locked all of a sudden and you are stated to have violated certain laws of the country? “Stop Online Piracy Automatic Protection System” scam locks computer asking for 200 dollars or euros via Moneypak or other payment methods. Are you required to pay certain fines within limited period of time in order to unlock your computer? Will you be in any trouble involving legal issues if you don’t pay in time?
Why is computer locked? Do I have to pay in order to unlock it?
Stop Online Piracy Automatic Protection System page is coming up on your screen and totally blocking you out of your computer? Do you believe what it says? As a matter of fact, this locking screen belongs to a malware that’s created by hackers in order to scare the victim computer users to buy into the fake authority notice. Don’t trust what it states as it’s made by unethical malware authors for commercial interests. All the alerts or notices may have popped up and threaten you by saying you’re in legal troubles so that it can get you to pay the required fines. In that way, remote hackers will be able to get your money without providing you anything. Stop Online Piracy Automatic Protection System Moneypak scam has been classified by YooSecurity Labs as Lockscreen Scareware, which hijacks and lock up the victim computers until you agree to pay the specified fines or ransome amount via Moneypak or other payment methods online. These Lockscreen Scareware may be used as Downloader virus to download other malicious codes in the near future even you have agreed to pay the ransome. It is recommended to remove this Stop Online Piracy Automatic Protection System Lockscreen Scareware immediately to prevent further damages.
Below is the screen-shot of this locking page:
From the above screen-shot we can see that there are three reasons listed to state why your computer is locked.
- 1. Downloading or distributing audio or video files protected by Copyright Law.
- 2. Downloading or distributing illegal content (chile porn, phishing software, etc.)
- 3. Downloading or distributing Software protected by Copyright Law.
However, what are the real reasons of PC being locked? Since this is just a virus, chances to be infected by it include visiting hacked sites and links, opening malicious email attachments and downloading and installing unknown “free” programs, ect. According to experiences of most people who have been hacked by this Stop Online Piracy Automatic Protection System virus, they usually claim that they were visiting some porn sites when this infection happened. Therefore, to stay away from unknown suspicious web pages can also help to minimize the risks of being infected. You may still not believe that this locking page is a scam. That’s understandable. Normally, when it has something to do with legal issues, it looks quite legit and real to most people! But what will happen once you pay? Can your computer be unlocked automatically? Under most circumstances, the answer would be NO. Since this is a scam and all it wants is your money, it will not unlock your PC once you pay. However, exceptions do exist. But even if your computer is unlocked, it does not mean that you are now safe! This nasty virus and others could still stay inside your computer waiting for the next time to explode!
Therefore, in order to save your computer from more potential damages, you should try to get rid of “Stop Online Piracy Automatic Protection System” scam ASAP! To do that, you are welcome to contact YooCare/YooSecurity Online PC Expert now or follow the below manual instructions to remove this malware on your own (recommended for PC advanced users only).
What can Stop Online Piracy Automatic Protection System scam do?
# The most obvious danger is that it can lock up your computer and require money from you to unlock.
# Other than that, it can also bring other viruses and spyware to damage your computer if you cannot remove it completely in time.
# System and personal data will be messed up by this virus and system crash might be caused.
# Computer will act slower than ever and freeze finally.
Manual instructions to remove this S.O.P.A malware:
Is there any better software to download to remove this Stop Online Piracy Automatic Protection System malware? The answer is NO. There isn’t a perfect program for every virus including the newly released ones. So it is a waste of time to search online for more programs. To manually remove this virus, you just need to uninstall it from the root and delete infected or fake files and registry entries associated with it. And in case you may cause other problems during the manual removal, you are suggested to do a system backup beforehand. Then follow the steps given below to start:
Step A: Reboot your infected computer and keep pressing F8 key on your keyboard. Use the arrow keys to highlight “Safe Mode with Networking” and press E/Enter.
Step B: Press Ctrl+Alt+Del keys together to open Windows Task Manager and then end related process [Stop Online Piracy Automatic Protection System].
Step C: Open Control Panel from Start menu and go to Folder Options. Under View tab to tick Show hidden files and folders and non-tick Hide protected operating system files (Recommended) and then click OK.
Step D: Press Windows+R keys to open the Run window and then type in regedit to open Registry Editor.
Step E: Find out and delete all these associating files and registry entries as below:
Go to %userprofile%\appdata\local\temp
The virus can have names other than “random.exe” but it should look like it doesn’t belong and should have a create date/time the same as a .class file if you sort by file mod/create time you’ll find it.
%Documents and Settings%\[UserName]\Application Data\[rnd].exe
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\”Shell” = “[rnd].exe”
Video Guide to Remove Stop Online Piracy Automatic Protection System (aka S.O.P.A.) Warning Virus
To sum up:
This Stop Online Piracy Automatic Protection System scam is quite nasty and annoying, isn’t it? This kind of malware can be created every day in different forms and versions. The most obnoxious locking scam should be the FBI MoneyPak virus! The common characters of this virus include 1) locks up your computer screen; 2) states that you have violated Copyright Law; 3) requires certain amount of fines to unlock. Even though some know that it’s a computer virus, there are still some other people that tend to believe its legality and pay. And some may still search for better PC protection tools because their antivirus programs didn’t catch this infection. The fact is, there’s not one particular antivirus that can catch all viruses. To keep your computer safe and virus-free, your online behaviors also count a lot!
Special tips: Still cannot locate files related to this S.O.P.A. malware? PC is still locked by UNLOCK@SOPASYSTEM.COM? To save all the files in your computer, contact with YooCare/YooSecurity Online Expert now and let them fix the problem and recover your computer back to normal!
Published by Karen Lawrence on October 10, 2012