June 5, 2014 David Emm

In the wake of the exposure and takedown of what the FBI are calling ‘the most sophisticated and damaging botnet we have ever encountered’, Senior Security Researcher David Emm explains exactly what GameOver Zeus means for you, and how you can keep yourself protected.

What is it exactly? How does it work?
The cybercriminals behind this week’s Gameover Zeus attack are using two malicious programs – ZeuS and Cryptolocker. ZeuS consists of a Trojan that searches your computer for personal information such as passwords and financial data. These are downloaded to a victim’s Windows PC by clicking on an attachment. The infected machine then begins to send spam emails to lure in further victims, spreading quickly across the internet.

These types of threats are not uncommon – in our virus lab we see 315,000 unique samples every day – including banking Trojans, ransomware and many other types of malware. In the case of a common banking Trojan like ZeuS, there are literally hundreds of thousands of variants. One reason why so many variants are created is to allow cybercriminals to try to keep control of computers that they have compromised for as long as possible.

What should I do now?
You must ensure that you back up your data regularly. This is particularly important in the case of ransomware. If you have a backup, even if you just manually drag-and-drop your files onto a USB drive, then you can avoid the need to pay the ransom if you do get infected with CryptoLocker.

People should not only protect their computers, but also ensure they back up their data regularly. This is particularly important in the case of ransomware. If you have a backup, even if you just manually drag-and-drop your files onto a USB drive, then you can avoid the need to pay the ransom if you do get infected with Cryptolocker.

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