Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) on Monday warned people to brace themselves for a powerful computer attack involving a strain of malware (malicious software) — Gameover Zeus.
“Individuals in the UK may receive notifications from their Internet Service Providers that they are a victim of this malware and are advised to back up all important information – such as files, photography and videos,” the NCA said in a statement.
“Businesses should also test their incident responses and business resilience protocols and work with their IT departments or suppliers to educate employees on the potential threat.”
The NCA said the public can protect themselves by making sure security software is installed and updated by running scans and checking that computer operating systems and applications are up to date.
A number of cyber security companies have supplied remediation tools, which can be accessed via Get Safe Online to help clean up infected machines.
“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,” said NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit deputy director Andy Archibald.
“Whether you find online security complicated or confusing, or simply haven’t thought about keeping your personal or office computers safe for a while, now is the time to take action.”