Council issues warning after virus invades its computers

TOOWOOMBA Regional Council is warning small businesses to be wary of fake emails after its computers were infected by a virus.

The fake traffic infringement email carried a malicious cryptolocker virus which encouraged its victim to pay a ransom before council's computer files could be unencrypted.

Council became a victim of the fake email scam on April 29, but information technology staff members were able to isolate the virus before any major systems were compromised.

Toowoomba Regional Council Deputy Mayor Mike Williams warned Toowoomba residents the email was doing the rounds locally.

"This email has taken off widely today and looks legitimate, and many people have been compromised, so I would urge people to be vigilant," Cr Williams said.

"The fake infringement notice features the AFP logo as well as a Commonwealth of Australia 2015 copyright.

"If any of the links within the message are clicked your computer is infected by malware.

"Council's staff acted immediately and started isolating systems. It took some services off-line for an afternoon, but in the end was dealt with quickly and efficiently … small businesses without our resources would not be so lucky."

Cr Williams said virus attacks were becoming more common.

The Australian Federal Police also issued a warning about the email which requests payment for a bogus AFP Traffic Infringement Notice.

The scam email initially asks the recipient to pay an "AFP fine" of approximately $150.

If links within the message are clicked, the recipient's computer is infected with malware which renders it inoperable.



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