What is it?
GameOver Zeus is essentially a malware. It is reported to be one of the most sophisticated of its kind. Specifically designed to steal baking details, it not just takes over the computer but turns the computer into a zombie that becomes a part of a much larger network of other infected computers. Thus forming a botnet spread across the world used to harvest banking and other critical information.
During the operation they also uncovered network of computers and servers infected with CryptoLocker, a ransomware that encrypts and locks you out of important files on your PC and demands a fee in return for unlocking them.
Both of these allow creators full access to your server or computer, often with minimal detection.
The main distribution vehicles for these have been, like most, emails and phishing.
Carefully worded emails with attachments are sent to all the contacts on the infected PC unbeknownst to the owner. Friends, family and colleagues are easily caught off guard.
What you need to do?
As of writing this, the botnet has been taken down. Having said that GameOver Zeus is no ordinary malware. It does not have one specific control centre. It has a peer-to-peer command structure thereby making it very tricky to pin it. The authorities have issued a fortnight’s warning to businesses and users to protect their servers and PCs. Apple Macs are not affected by these malwares. But here are a few urgent things all, and I mean ALL, users of any devices connected to the internet must do as best practice;
- Always ensure to update your computers and devices with the latest available updates.
- Especially for old Windows PCs, make sure you have an always updated antivirus software.
- Use strong passwords and change them at least every 2 to 3 months.
- Avoid visiting unknown random sites.
- And last but the most important one is remain hyper vigilant with emails even from people you know. If they seem even slightly out of the ordinary do not open them. All attachment must be treated with some level of suspicion.
Remember every glitch is a bug, not all are dangerous but you never know which one is. So in the big bad world we call Internet be very aware!