04 September 2015

Authorities cripple Gameover Zeus botnet and CryptoLocker ransomware

02 June 2014  |  4345 views  |  0 Hands on Keyboard

An FBI-led international operation to disrupt the Gameover Zeus botnet and CryptoLocker ransomware has given people a two-week window in which to protect their computers.

Thought to comprise between 500,000 and one million computers around the world, the Gameover Zeus botnet steals bank details that crooks can use to wire money to themselves. So far it has caused known losses of around EUR75 million.

The botnet also distributes CryptoLocker, which encrypts all the files on victims' computers and demands payment for a password to unlock the files. In just two months, around $27 million has been paid out by victims.

Over the last few days the FBI - working with Europol, the UK National Crime Agency (NCA) and private firms such as Microsoft - has raided servers around the world, taking control of command and control servers used to direct the botnet.

Authorities say that this gives people a short window in which they can make sure that security software is installed and updated. In the UK, Internet Service Providers are writing to known victims and telling them to back up their data.

Andy Archibald, deputy director, national cyber crime unit, NCA, says: "By making use of this two-week window, huge numbers of people in the UK can stop that from happening to them...Our message is simple: update your operating system and make this a regular occurrence, update your security software and use it and, think twice before clicking on links or attachments in unsolicited emails."

Meanwhile, the US Justice Department has filed a complaint against a Russian citizen called Evgeniy Mikhailovich Bogachev who is accused of being the leader of the gang behind Gameover Zeus and CryptoLocker.

Comments: (0)

Comment on this story (membership required)
Log in to receive notifications when someone posts a comment

Finextra news in your inbox

For Finextra's free daily newsletter, breaking news flashes and weekly jobs board, sign up now.

Related blogs

Create a blog about this story (membership required)

Related stories

29 May, 2014
22 November, 2013
06 June, 2013
12 December, 2012
26 March, 2012
24 March, 2011


Your browser is unable to support Flash files.

Who is commenting?

Finextra Member Commented on: HSBC to rebrand Britsh...
Finextra Member Commented on: Zapp to use behavioura...

Top topics

Most viewed Most shared
Third of Brits expect day-to-day mobile pa...
8428 views comments | 39 tweets | 15 linkedin
Payments UK sets out vision for 'world cla...
6967 views comments | 17 tweets | 10 linkedin
UK boosts contactless limit to £30
5771 views comments | 31 tweets | 20 linkedin
PayPal rolls out personalised URLs for P2P...
5729 views comments | 34 tweets | 19 linkedin
Behold the contactless jacket
5547 views comments | 23 tweets | 18 linkedin

Featured job

up to £95K base, £190K OTE, benefits
London, UK

Find your next job