Are the warnings currently flashing around the globe regarding the latest cyber attack, Gameover Zeus, genuine? The UK government seems to be particularly urgent in it’s warning, especially considering Gameover Zeus has been around since 2011.
From Russia Today:
The UK has warned its computer-users they have two weeks to protect their machines from two powerful viruses, GameOver Zeus and Cryptolocker, after a US-led multinational operation announced a coordinated takedown of malware.
There are more than 15,500 computers infected in the UK and many more are at risk, the UK’s National Crime Agency has said, citing “intelligence” assumptions.
It “could cost computer users millions of pounds,” the NCA warned.
The agency is now “urging the public and small businesses” to consult with the government-backedgetsafeonline.org website.
“Nobody wants their personal financial details, business information or photographs of loved ones to be stolen or held to ransom by criminals. By making use of this two-week window, huge numbers of people in the UK can stop that from happening to them,” Deputy Director of the NCA’s Cyber Crime Unit Andy Archibald said.
However, computer users need to take action immediately, as authorities only have temporary control of communications.
“This warning is not intended to cause you panic but we cannot over-stress the importance of taking these steps immediately. This is because the UK’s NCA has taken temporary control of the communications used to connect with infected computers, but expects only a very limited window of opportunity to ensure you are protected,” said UK-based Get Safe Online, a government-backed organization that has published a list of software it recommends for the task.
With the warning reaching the public, Get Safe’s website crashed under the number of requests to view its content.
- How do they know that the cyber s**t is going to hit the fan in two weeks?
- Why are only 15,000 UK computers vulnerable to attack?
- Why has nobody ever heard of Getsafeonline before today?
- Is this incident being used get government installed programs onto British home computers?
Advice from Get Safe Online
- Install internet security software from companies listed on Get Safe Online’s Facebook and Google+ profiles to download a free tool to scan for Gameover Zeus and CryptoLocker, and remove them from your computer
- Do not open attachments in emails unless you are 100% certain that they are authentic
- Make sure your internet security software is up-to-date and switched on at all times
- Make sure your Windows operating system has the latest Microsoft updates applied
- Make sure your software programs have the latest manufacturers’ updates applied
- Make sure all of your files including documents, photos, music and bookmarks are backed up and readily available in case you are no longer able to access them on your computer
- Never store passwords on your computer in case they are accessed by Gameover Zeus or another aggressive malware program
Anyone with any common sense at all will already have protection installed on their system, those that don’t may well be advised to go it alone and purchase security software rather than use a government recommended website.
Although the malware is said to affected far more computers here in the United States than anywhere else, no advise has been given regarding beefing up security and a two week window before the viruses are up and running again has not, to my knowledge been mentioned.
So, is the British government looking for a way into thousands of computers, or is the American government not warning of the two week window because they are behind the attack, and are hoping people feel safe and happy enough not to install anti-malware programs?
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Contributed by Chris Carrington of The Daily Sheeple.
Chris Carrington is a writer, researcher and lecturer with a background in science, technology and environmental studies. Chris is an editor for The Daily Sheeple. Wake the flock up!