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Ransomware infecting Panhandle computers

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Many Panhandle residents are turning to the internet to do their holiday shopping. But, a computer viruses targeting these online shoppers.

The computer virus scam we first told you about in August called ransomware has a new face.

Now, computers it is infecting have pornographic images locked on the screen with a ransom note requesting $200 or more. Ransomware is reported to be collecting $5-million annually.

Local computer experts say in the last month they've seen an increase in these high-jacked computers.

"This is really a strange time of year because computer viruses run ramped around the holidays. More people are online doing shopping, searching for products, and so the virus writers know this as well. And so, they up their antics to infect your computers," Andrew Brandt, owner of All Star Computer Service says.

Experts say do not respond to any messages requesting money, turn your computer off. Leaving it running can expose your computer to other viruses and compromise data.

Few people want to take their computer in for repair because of the pornographic images, but the best thing to do is to have an expert remove the ransomware.

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