It’s Game Over for Gameover Zeus
The Department of Justice recently announced a multinational law enforcement effort to disrupt the Gameover Zeus Botnet.
What is it and why care about it? Gameover Zeus is malware designed to steal banking and other credentials from home and business computers. Once infected with this malware, 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 percent of them are in the US. 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 responsible.
If your computer has been infected, you’ll need to take a few 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 your important accounts like your bank and email accounts.
- Finally, make sure your operating system and internet browsers are up-to-date, and set them to update automatically.
If your computer was infected with Gameover Zeus, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) may contact you to remove the malware. If your ISP calls you, they won’t ask for personal or financial information, and they won’t charge you any money.
Don’t confuse a call from your ISP with a tech support scam. If the caller pressures you to send money or to give up control of your computer, it may be a scam. If you’re not 100 percent sure that the person on the phone is from your ISP, hang up and call your ISP directly.