UK businesses are at risk of falling victim to cyber-threats, GOZeuS and CryptoLocker, warns the National Crime Agency.  The malicious software could cost companies millions of pounds, if left unchecked.  Downloaded via an email attachment, the viruses work as follows:

  • The Gameover Zeus virus, enables criminals to take control of your computer. They can then access files stored on your computer, look at your bank or credit card accounts and send emails in your name.
  • A program known as CryptoLocker, a piece of ‘ransomware’, enables criminals to effectively lock down your computer. They’ll can then issue a ransom demand in order for companies to get control of their computers again.

A two week window period exists in which to protect themselves from potential cyber-attacks by making sure that the appropriate security software is installed, running regular scans, and checking that computer applications and operating systems are always up to date.  According to reports, the British National Crime Agency and the FBI have taken temporary control over the communications that the criminals are using to connect with infected computers.

But as they anticipate only being able to manage this channel for two weeks, computer users are being urged to protect their devices now and to remove the virus if they’ve been infected.  According to *** Symantec says the FBI was able to seize a “large amount” of the infrastructure used by both Gameover Zeus and CryptoLocker as part of a crackdown on the threat. The company has also released a free online tool that victims can use to remove Gameover Zeus from their computers.

Incident response and resilience protocols are to be tested to its safeguard computer hardware. Companies should work closely with their IT departments to communicate cyber risks.

Through following National Crime Agency guidance and CERT UK companies can equip themselves with practical advice and the tools from cyber security specialists assisting them to clean up their computers.

The following can also be used to check if you have been infected by the virus:

  • Kaspersky if you think your computer is infected with Gameover Zeus and WindowsUnlocker if your computer is infected with    CryptoLocker.
  • Microsoft Safety Scanner (downloaded onto Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP).
  • Sophos (Windows XP (SP2) and above).
  • Trend Micro (Windows XP, Vista, Windows, Windows 8/8.1, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2008 R2).

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