Symantec, the company behind the Norton range of security products, have issued information on a potential major threat to information stored on personal computers from two malware progammes.
Called Cryptolocker and Game Over Zeus they target personal information for financial gain on infected devices. Quoting Symantec “Gameover Zeus runs software on an infected device, which is used to intercept online banking transactions, defrauding customers and banks. Cryptolocker is a new form of ransomware which works by encrypting files on the victim hard-drive, then demanding payment for the key to decrypt.”
Symantec also reports “this week the UK National Crime Agency and the FBI, working with Symantec and other partners, were able to significantly disrupt two financial malware operations: Gameover Zeus botnet and Cryptolocker ransomware network.”
The following advice has been issued by Symantec and equally applies to any antivirus software or email best practice used by a company or individual.
How to protect yourself
- If you receive an e-mail with an attachment – DO NOT open it unless it’s expected. Examples would be invoices for unknown purchases, bank statements (which are never e-mailed)
- DO NOT click on website links to download files unless you have request them
- Make sure that the signatures for your anti-virus software are updated to the latest version as this will protect against Gameover Zeus
- Run regular full scans of your computers and backup your files
More information from Symantec can be found here