Police warning over latest computer virus used by cyber-criminals

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Police are warning computer users to take out precautions to protect their computers and themselves from the latest computer virus and cyber-crime.

Notts Police are saying residents shouldn’t panic but say ‘we cannot over-stress the importance of taking these steps immediately’.

The UK’s National Crime Agency (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.

Cyber criminals are constantly devising new types of malware to commit financial theft, fraud, identity theft and other crimes against ordinary people. This latest threat is particularly insidious as it uses two different types of malware to infect your computer in order to commit these crimes.

The current threat is a virus known as Gameover Zeus, GOZeus, or P2Pzeus which is a type of aggressive malware which infects your computer so that it can effectively be ‘taken over’ by the criminals.

It means they could be used for criminal activities such as viewing your personal files, monitoring online bank accounts, sending emails in your name and potentially using your webcam to physically spy on you.

Another high risk currently is the “CryptoLocker” (also known as ransomware) virus which criminals use to prevent you opening or accessing you own files – effectively locking down your PC before issuing you with a ransom demand.

Opting to pay the ransom is no guarantee that it will be unlocked. Once your computer is locked, it is rendered useless as you cannot access your email, files, photos, music or bookmarks.

Free tools have been specially developed and made available to you by a number of internet security software companies. You can use any of these tools regardless of the make of internet security software you normally use.

These are available on the www.getsafeonline.org website at no charge.