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CryptoLocker and Zeus crippled in major police smackdown – what you need to do RIGHT NOW


Major botnet locked down for two weeks allowing people to free their computers from hugely dangerous banking trojan and CryptoLocker

A sprawling network of over one million compromised Windows computers has been freed from the grip of the highly dangerous Gameover Zeus botnet following a top-secret global police operation.

People have two weeks in which to escape the powerful and dangerous botnet, with anyone using Windows urged to take action immediately.

The criminal gang behind Gameover Zeus can control anything on an infected computer, harvesting account details, passwords, confidential information and banking logins.

More than 15,000 computers in the UK are infected with Gameover Zeus. It has spread through phishing emails claiming to be from the government, banks, mobile phone companies and delivery firms, with people tricked into opening attachments rigged with malicious code.

Gameover Zeus is one of the most successful and malicious internet attacks ever seen. It was also used to launch CryptoLocker, the attack which made news headlines when it spread around the globe encrypting and locking computers and then demanding a ransom to free them.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) in the UK, working with the FBI and Europol have been able to disrupt the criminal network behind Gameover Zeus and CryptoLocker, giving people a small window in which to rid their machines of the malicious code.

Cybercrime experts have stopped the virus network from receiving updates, effectively shutting it down for two weeks. This will allow operating system and antivirus updates to detect Gameover Zeus and remove it from computers.

People already infected with Gameover Zeus in the UK should receive a letter from their internet provider explaining they are infected with advice on how to clean their computer. The NCA said people can also go to Getsafeonline for more information. Anyone with a Windows computer is being urged to act now.

Gameover Zeus has cost UK computer users millions of pounds, with the sophisticated attack also installing CryptoLocker to extort more money from affected users.

The infamous scam locked computers and demanded £300 to free them from the control of criminal gangs.

With the hugely dangerous botnet now disrupted anyone using a Windows computer is being urged to make sure their operating system is up to date and that all other software on the system is updated.

All files should also be backed up, with the NCA warning that some people may find themselves unable to access them. Special scanners have been developed by a number of computer security companies to track down and remove the Gameover Zeus virus.

“Nobody wants their personal financial details, business information or photographs of loved ones to be stolen or held to ransom by criminals,” said Andy Archibald, deputy director of the NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit.

“By making use of this two-week window, huge numbers of people in the UK can stop that from happening to them.

“Our message is simple: update your operating system and make this a regular occurrence, update your security software and use it and, think twice before clicking on links or attachments in unsolicited emails.”

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