Gameover Zeus, a malicious piece of software used to steal personal and financial data, is set to be responsible for financial losses in the ‘hundreds of millions of dollars’ according to the FBI.
Russian citizen Evgeniy Bogachev has been charged with leading the group behind the malware that has already affected up to one million machines with criminals raking in more than £60m.
“This is the first time we’ve seen a coordinated, international approach of this magnitude, demonstrating how seriously the FBI takes this current threat,” said Steve Rawlinson, the MD of web hosting specialists Tagadab.
Police currently have control of the servers that control the botnet, but it is believed to be only a matter of time before criminals set up new servers elsewhere and start distributing the botnet again via phishing emails.
The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) said that people probably have about two weeks before criminals get the botnet functioning again, and has advised users to protect their computers.
“This warning is not intended to cause you panic but we cannot overstress the importance of taking these steps immediately,” said UK-based Get Safe Online, a government-backed organisation that has published a list of software it recommends for the task.
For businesses worried about whether they have been attacked or what the Gameover Zeus botnet means to their sensitive information, IT Governance advises investment in appropriate measures to ensure data is adequately protected. For further information and advice, please contact IT Governance on 0845 070 1750 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.