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IT Security

Malware is typically downloaded by unsuspecting users via what is known as a phishing. Phishing is the attempt to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy source via email. The email appears to be from your bank, Inland Revenue, PayPal or similar when it fact it is designed to trick a person into downloading malicious software.

Once installed on a victim’s machine, Gameover Zeus will search specifically for files containing financial information. If it cannot find anything it deems of worth, some strains of Gameover Zeus will then install Cryptolocker – a ransomware program that locks a person’s machine until a fee is paid.

We recommend carrying out the following action in order to protect yourself from Gameover Zeus and other malware:

DO NOT log on to your bank, PayPal, Inland Revenue or any other website from links which are emailed to you, not matter how legitimate they appear. Instead visit the website via your web browser and login on the site itself.

DO NOT open attachments in emails unless you are 100% certain that they are authentic and from a verified and known sender. Delete the email straight away. The very least save the attachment to your PC, and scan it using anti-virus software before opening.

Make sure your Windows operating system has the latest Microsoft updates applied. You can do this by going to Control Panel and Windows Update.

If your computer exhibits any suspicious behaviour, pop-up windows, report it to your IT Support team right away.

Ensure anti-virus software is installed and up-to-date. We recommend Sophos anti-virus which is a paid-for solution, or free solutions such as Windows Defender or Microsoft Security Essentials.

Install internet security software – we recommend Malware Bytes. Once installed carry out a FULL SCAN of your computer.

Make sure all of your files including documents, photos, music and bookmarks are backed up in case you are no longer able to access them on your computer. Use External drives or use Cloud backup systems such as Mozy or Carbonite.

Make sure your software programs have the latest manufacturers’ updates applied

NEVER store passwords on your computer i.e. in Outlook, Excel etc in case they are accessed by Gameover Zeus or another aggressive malware program

According to the FBI Gameover Zeus could be responsible for “financial losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars”.

The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) said people probably had “two weeks” before other criminals would get the operation functioning again.

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