Ransomware: Keep Calm and Have your Lawyer Tell the Cops it’s Not Your Porn

February 17th, 2015 by Attorney Dan Carman

Are Your Digital Devices Gathering Evidence for the Police?

Gone are the days when people thought of mobile phones as just a convenient way to make or receive phone calls. These days, cell phones are mini computers used for things like reading email, getting directions and surfing the Web.

Statistics suggest that there are more mobile phones than computers connected to the Internet. As smartphones have become more popular and less expensive, they have also become bigger targets for cyber security attacks.

Malware & Extortion

Two of the biggest current threats against cell phone security are extortion and data destruction. As if the idea of a hacker’s holding your personal information hostage isn’t scary enough, a new scam employs an alarming new twist that can lead to criminal charges against the phones’ owners.

Cyber crooks are sending a type of malware called “ransomware” to smart phones, along with child pornography images that cannot be deleted.

Then a message pops up claiming that the phone was used to access explicit or pornographic images and “We can take care of this for $500.” Many of the people who fall victim to this extortion scheme fail to contact the authorities because they are afraid their implausible story will not be believed and will end in an arrest for possession of illegal images. Instead, they pay the ransom money, which only rewards the hackers for their corrupt behavior and is no guarantee the images will be erased.

You can help protect yourself by:

  • Keeping your phone’s operating system up to date
  • Never clicking on a link in an unsolicited email or text
  • Never downloading any attachments
  • Making sure the settings on your phone are set so that nothing can be downloaded without your permission.

Getting charged for possessing child pornography can ruin your life. At the Lexington, KY-based Carman Law Firm, we understand that having such images on your phone or computer does not necessarily mean they were intentionally downloaded by you. We offer thorough, experienced representation and aggressive defense. Call today at (859) 685-1055 or fill out this online contact form to find out how we can help you.