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News from IT West

GameOver Zeus & CryptoLocker

£16 million has already been stolen. Over 250,000 computers have already been infected worldwide! (The Independent)

GameOver Zeus is a piece of malware that infects your computer and can start to transmit data to third parties. It is specifically designed to take data such as passwords, bank information, credit card and personal information among other details. The third party can then use this information to commit financial crimes.

CryptoLocker infects files on your computer’s hard disk and any network share you connect to. The software then holds you to ransom to unencrypt your data and return your files to normal. Paying the ransom does not mean that the problem is solved as a re-attack is still possible. If a law enforcement agency has closed the server down then the files may not be accessible to unlock – even after paying the ransom. A back up of your data will then be the only way to get your Business critical information back.

Forward this information to your staff and contacts to ensure they do not open attachments on an email from unknown sources.

If you receive an email asking you to verify ANY details, log in via a link to a webpage or other account, just delete it as this could be a phishing email intended to install malware. These emails are cleverly designed to look real and often come with a headed title like HMRC or can a specific bank name. Check the sender’s detail and if in ANY DOUBT, contact the company direct to see if they sent you the communication and attachment before you open it. Do not reply to the email.

Ensure that backups are successfully backing up your business critical data.

Protect your passwords and be vigilant – pay attention to unusual warning error messages that appear on your PC especially if they mention malware.
If you feel that there is something unusual about your PC or you believe you may have become infected, unplug your PC from the network, disconnect it from the wireless connection and shut it down. If there is critical data on your machine or network you should get both your PC and network checked by an IT Professional.