The Washington Post

Computer virus targets Marylanders

You know you’ve made it as a state when a computer virus specifically targets your residents.

That’s the only conclusion I could come to — other than checking my anti-virus software — after learning that Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot had issued a warning noting that there was “a new computer virus that targets Maryland residents and will pick their pockets of cash.”

“This virus locks up your computer [and] tells the user that the only way to unlock their computer requires them to send $200 to my office,” Franchot said in a news release. “This is absolutely not true. My office does not monitor private citizen’s computer usage and has no authority to lock up a computer system or fine anyone for their Internet activities.”

I’m glad he confirmed that he cannot monitor my computer.

Franchot says the virus appears to be a variant of a virus that went around last year. In that virus — you can read more about it here — computers were allegedly locked up by the FBI. A fee was required for machines to be unlocked, and of course they never were.

Franchot’s office is warning Internet users to make sure they have good anti-virus software. You can read more about the virus and other safety recommendations here .

I’m gonna go read a book.

Michael Rosenwald is a reporter on the Post's local enterprise team. He writes about the intersection of technology, business and culture.


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Video curated for you.