It’s been all over the news for weeks: someone has finally been charged but the warning is that the criminal group behind these kinds of attacks could regroup within as little as a fortnight.
You might have even received an email or letter from your Internet Service Provider telling you to take action NOW, but not to PANIC – which automatically makes most of panic just a little bit, doesn’t it?
But should it?!
So, what exactly is Gameover Zeus?
It is a malware that infects your computer, allowing criminals to take control of it whether that’s for viewing your files, online banking, hijacking your emails or even using your webcam to secretly watch you!
Some strains of Gameover Zeus will then go on to install Cryptolocker – a ransomware program usually accompanied by a pop-up window requesting payment or making other demands in order to restore the computer to its former state. The most sinister varieties even encrypt files by putting a coded password on them, making it difficult or even impossible to recover any data.
The FBI said Gameover Zeus could be responsible for “financial losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars”.
Could it really affect me?
Yes, this type of malware could affect any of us whether we use our computers for personal or business use.
The infection can happen through email attachments, phishing emails (= emails pretending to be from your bank etc.) and email directions to infected websites which automatically download the malware onto your computer without anything obviously suspicious until it strikes.
Follow the official advice from Get Safe Online:
- Install internet security software from companies listed on Get Safe Online’s Facebook and Google+ profiles to download a free tool to scan for Gameover Zeus and CryptoLocker, and remove them from your computer
- Do not open attachments in emails unless you are 100% certain that they are authentic
- Make sure your internet security software is up-to-date and switched on at all times
- Make sure your Windows operating system has the latest Microsoft updates applied
- Make sure your software programs have the latest manufacturers’ updates applied
- Make sure all of your files including documents, photos, music and bookmarks are backed up and readily available in case you are no longer able to access them on your computer
- Never store passwords on your computer in case they are accessed by Gameover Zeus or another aggressive malware program
Have PC Harmony,
So you can concentrate on the more important things in life…