The Department of Justice recently announced a multinational law enforcement effort to disrupt the Gameover Zeus Botnet. What is it and why should your company care?
Gameover Zeus is malware designed to steal banking and other credentials from home and business computers. Once infected, a computer becomes part of a global network of compromised computers known as a botnet. Criminals use botnets to carry out illegal activity – like sending spam and spreading malware.
Security researchers estimate that between 500,000 and 1 million computers worldwide are infected with Gameover Zeus, and that about 25% of them are in the U.S. The FBI estimates that Gameover Zeus is responsible for more than $100 million in losses. U.S. and international law enforcement disabled Gameover Zeus and brought charges against one of the people alleged to be responsible.
If your computer has been infected, you’ll need to take steps to remove the malware and secure your accounts:
- Install and run security software. Here are examples that can find and remove Gameover Zeus from your system.
- If your security software finds malware, remove it, and restart your computer. Then change the passwords for important accounts like your bank and email accounts.
- Make sure your operating system and internet browsers are up to date, and set them to update automatically.
If your system was infected with Gameover Zeus, your internet service provider may contact your company to remove the malware or you may hear about it from your in-house tech staff. But don’t confuse a call from your ISP or company Help Desk with a tech support scam. If the caller pressures you to give up control of your computer, asks for personal information, or insists you send money or give a credit card number, chances are it's a scam. If you’re not 100% sure that the person on the phone is from your ISP or your company tech team, hang up and call directly using a number you know is legitimate.