United States Courts virus "YOUR COMPUTER HAS BEEN LOCKED" removal guide
What is United States Courts?
The United States Courts message "Your computer has been locked" demands that PC users pay a $300 fine using MoneyPak in order to unlock their computers. This is a scam and should not be trusted - a ransomware virus created by cyber criminals to scare unsuspecting PC users into paying a bogus fine. Paying this fine is equivalent to sending your money to cyber criminals. In fact, neither the United States Courts nor any other authority or organization, internationally, use screen-locking messages to collect fines for any law violations. This particular ransomware virus predominantly targets PC users from the USA and makes false accusations of illegally downloading copyrighted material (such as MP3s, Movies, Software, etc.) in order to trick computer users into paying the bogus $300 fine. To generate a sense of urgency, cyber criminals demand that the fine be paid within 48 hours.
Neither the United States Courts nor MoneyPak are related to this scam. The technique of locking computer screens and ordering payment to unlock it is a devious and well-known business model employed by cyber criminals. Note that deceptive messages that make false accusations of law violations are often localized - ransomware infections use IP addresses to determine the location of the victim's computer, thus presenting the user with a message adapted to appear as if sent from local authorities or organizations. The United States Courts "Your computer has been locked" message is a scam - do not trust it or pay the fine using MoneyPak. The correct way to deal with this screen-locking message is to eliminate it from your PC.
A variant of this ransomware virus:
The United States Courts ransomware virus is distributed using 'exploit kits' capable of infiltrating users' computers via any security vulnerabilities detected. Common sources of exploit kits are infected email messages, malicious websites, and drive-by downloads. Note that this particular ransomware virus uses different fake messages to trick computer users from different countries. For example, PC users from Australia see this fake message as if sent by AFP, and computer users from Canada, as if sent by RCMP. The best way to protect your operating system from ransomware viruses is by using legitimate antivirus and anti-spyware programs. Other safe computing practices include keeping your software up-to-date. If your computer screen is already locked by the United States Courts ransomware virus, use the removal guide provided to eliminate this scam.
A fake message displayed by the United States Courts virus:
UNITED STATES COURTS.
YOUR COMPUTER HAS BEEN LOCKED.
Illegally downloaded material (MP3's, Movies or Software) has been located on your computer.
By Downloading or uploading those files have been reproduced, thereby involving a criminal offence under 17 U.S.C.A. SS506(a) and 18 USCA SS2319 (2)(A)(B)
(a) Whoever violates section 506 (a) (relating to criminal offences) of title 17 shall be punished as provided in subsection (b) of this section and such penalties shall be in addition to any other provisions of title 17 of any other law. (b) Any person who commits an offence under subsection (a) of this section --
(2) shall be fined not more than $250,000 or imprisoned for not more than two years, or both, if the offence (A) involves the reproduction or distribution, during any one-hundred-and-eighty-day period, of more than one ten but less than one hundred phone records or copies infringing the copyright in one or more sound recordings; or (B) involves the reproduction or distribution, during any one-hundred-and-eighty-day period, of more than two but less than sixty-five copies infringing the copyright in one or more motion pictures or other audiovisual works.To unlock your computer and to avoid other legal consequences, you are obligated to pay a release fee of $300. Payable through GreenDot MoneyPak. After successful payment, your computer will automatically unlock.
Failure to adhere to the request will involve criminal charges and possible imprisonment. To perform the payment, enter the acquired GreenDot MoneyPak code in the designated payment field and press the "Submit" button.
Please note: The fine may only be paid within 48 hours. If you let 48 hours pass without payment, the possibility of unlocking your computer expires. In this case the criminal case against you will continue automatically.
You can be clearly identified by resolving your IP address and the associated host name. All of your files have been encrypted, any attempt to unlock your computer by yourself, will result in loss of all your data.
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Malwarebytes is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is United States Courts?
- STEP 1. "United States Courts" virus removal using safe mode with networking.
- STEP 2. "United States Courts" ransomware removal using System Restore.
United States Courts virus removal:
Start your computer in Safe Mode. Click Start, click Shut Down, click Restart, click OK. During your computer starting process press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until you see the Windows Advanced Option menu, then select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.
Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":
Windows 8 users: Go to the Windows 8 Start Screen, type Advanced, in the search results select Settings. Click on Advanced Startup options, in the opened "General PC Settings" window select Advanced startup. Click on the "Restart now" button. Your computer will now restart into "Advanced Startup options menu". Click on the "Troubleshoot" button, then click on the "Advanced options" button. In the advanced option screen click on "Startup settings". Click on the "Restart" button. Your PC will restart into Startup Settings screen. Press "5" to boot in Safe Mode with Command Prompt.
Video showing how to start Windows 8 in "Safe Mode with Networking":
Log in to the account infected with the United States Courts virus. Start your Internet browser and download a legitimate anti-spyware program. Update the anti-spyware software and start a full system scan. Remove all entries detected.
If you cannot start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking, try performing a System Restore.
Video showing how to remove a ransomware virus using "Safe Mode with Command Prompt" and "System Restore":
1. During your computer starting process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until the Windows Advanced Options menu appears, and then select Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list and press ENTER.
2. When Command Prompt Mode loads, enter the following line: cd restore and press ENTER.
3. Next, type this line: rstrui.exe and press ENTER.
4. In the opened window click "Next".
5. Select one of the available Restore Points and click "Next" (this will restore your computer system to an earlier time and date, prior to the United States Courts ransomware virus infiltrating your PC).
6. In the opened window click "Yes".
7. After restoring your computer to a previous date, download and scan your PC with recommended malware removal software to eliminate any remnants of the United States Courts virus.
If you cannot start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking (or with Command Prompt), boot your computer using a rescue disk. Some variants of ransomware disable Safe Mode making its removal complicated. For this step, you require access to another computer. After removing the United States Courts virus from your PC, restart your computer and scan it with legitimate anti-spyware software to remove any possible remnants of this security infection.
Other tools known to remove the United States Courts virus: