Two weeks ago it was announced by the National Crime Agency that we as computer users had just two weeks to protect ourselves from GameOver Zeus and CryptoLocker. Supposedly that deadline is up.
The Gameover ‘strain’ of Zeus virus had apparently infected over 500,000 computers globally. The virus seeks to gain financial information from any computers infected – it’s already caused over £50 million in losses to date!
The mastermind behind the Malware, ‘Evginey Mikhailovich Bogachev’, has been apprehended by the FBI, yet his work is still prevalent on the net. For this reason businesses should still be taking preventative measures.
The important thing to note is that attacks like GameOver Zeus will continue to happen on the internet for as long as the internet exists. Users should always be prepared, with antivirus software installed and updated, passwords changed at regular intervals, at least 12 monthly, and general caution when opening suspect emails and accessing webpages.
Notifying internet users to take heed for only two weeks is like the police announcing that a local gang had been temporarily locked up, and suggesting home owners install security measures in this time and to be more cautious every time they leave the house after this period.
The notion is absurd as it should not be the responsibility of individual users to protect themselves from such attacks, people should feel safe using the internet without the worry of being held to ransom for the return of their banking details. Unfortunately individual users must act now to protect themselves.
It is important to note that whilst GameOver Zeus has been hindered by downtime, cybercriminals have still been playing, some have been creating malware similar to GameOver to target mobile devices too. Most people don’t realise that their Smartphones can be attacked. To keep your device as safe as it can be, take these precautions:
-Don’t jailbreak your phone
-Use a PIN and repeat one number twice in the sequence e.g. 4374 as it is harder to guess
-Don’t use public Wi-Fi
-Only install apps from your devices reliable app store
-Don’t store sensitive information, and back up all of your data
Preventative measures are always easier to implement than resolving the problem once it has become apparent. Please take precautions now!