On the 2nd June, the National Crime Agency published a warning about an eminent cyber attack.
The warning urges the UK public to protect themselves against malicious software (known as malware) launched in the next two weeks.
The NCA state that :
“Action taken by the NCA to combat the threat will give the UK public a unique, two-week opportunity to rid and safeguard themselves from two distinct but associated forms of malware known as GOZeuS and CryptoLocker.”
There are a number of ways that the public can actively protect themselves :
- Installing and updating security software
- Running scans on existing data
- Checking computer operating systems are up to date
- Checking applications are running the latest versions
- Removing unsupported software applications
- Using encryption programs to store sensitive information
GOZeuS (also known as P2PZeuS) has been assessed as being responsible for the fraudulent transfer of hundreds of millions of pounds globally. Recent intelligence has suggested that more than 15,500 computers in the UK are currently infected, with many more potentially at risk.
Get Safe Online is providing advice, guidance and tools on its website at to help internet users understand more about the malicious software and how to protect themselves and their computers from attacks. This site is also providing remedial tools provided by cyber security companies, to assist with cleaning infected machines.
In addition to ensuring that security and computer updates are applied to your machine, the most important advice is to always think before clicking on links or attachments in emails sent from people who you don’t know or trust. Often there are types of websites which attract malware attacks like sporting events.
In businesses where large financial transactions are carried out over the internet, it may be advisable to use a dedicated machine for the task. This can be isolated from the rest of the computer network, providing an isolation area preventing infection from critical computers.
About the National Crime Agency
The NCA is a new crime-fighting agency with national and international reach and the mandate and powers to work in partnership with other law enforcement organisations to bring the full weight of the law to bear in cutting serious and organised crime.