Computer users with Windows are currently being urged by the National Crime Agency (NCA) to check their machines for a new computer virus. At least 15,000 computers have so far been infected with the virus, which contains two parts – Gameover Zeus and CryptoLocker.
The virus has been sent out to computers around the world, typically through a bogus email attachment or link. Once it’s downloaded, criminals have access to personal accounts including passwords and financial details. The email normally looks like it has come from a legitimate source i.e your bank or a delivery company and includes an attachment of an invoice, voicemail message or delivery note.
On Mon 2 Jun, the NCA announced that, working with the FBI, it had temporarily taken control of the communication networks these criminals use to connect with the infected computers. But it expects it’ll only keep control for around two weeks – and so is urging people to check their computers for the virus in the meantime.
How does the virus work?
It contains two types of malware:
Gameover Zeus, GoZeus or P2PZeus: This malware lets a criminal take control of your computer. They can then access files stored on the computer, look at private info such as bank or credit card accounts, and send emails in your name.
CryptoLocker: This part is ‘ransomware’. A criminal locks down a computer, then issues a ransom demand stating that if a sum of money is paid out, the user will get back control of the computer – although there are no guarantees this will happen.
The attack works by the first part of the virus, Gameover Zeus, searching your machine for data. If it doesn’t find enough information worth stealing then the second part, CryptoLocker, will kick in and the computer will be held to ransom.
What do I need to do?
We have taken steps to ensure our systems are protected from this threat and would like to ensure you are also able to protect yourself. With this in mind we have compiled a short list of steps we recommend you follow to ensure you are not at risk:
- Ensure your operating system software is up-to-date
- Make sure your internet security software (including Anti-virus, Anti-malware and firewall software) is up-to-date
- DONT NOT OPEN EMAILS FROM AN UKNOWN SOURCE; View emails especially those with ZIP attachments sent from unknown senders with caution
- Take care to look out for Phishing emails
- Avoid storing passwords on your computer
- Make sure you keep backups.
For more information with regards to this or for any advice please do not hesitate to contact us.
Take a look at our Data Security Solutions for more information on how to ensure your protected.