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NCA urges the public to check for malware after operation

25th February 2015 | Cyber Aware
NCA urges the public to check for malware after operation

The National Crime Agency has led a major European operation to tackle malicious software (malware) which is known to have infected tens of thousands of computers in the UK.

The Agency’s National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU) worked with law enforcement colleagues in the Netherlands, Italy and Germany, co-ordinated through Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), to shut down command and control servers used by a ‘botnet’ network of infected computers.

This botnet, named RAMNIT, spread malware via seemingly trustworthy links sent out on phishing emails or social networking websites. If users running Windows operating systems clicked on the links, the malware would be installed, infecting the computer.

Infected computers would then be under the control of criminals, enabling them to access personal or banking information, steal passwords and disable antivirus protection.

Investigators believe that RAMNIT may have infected over three million computers worldwide, with around 33,000 of those being in the UK. It has so far largely been used to attempt to take money from bank accounts.

Analysis is now taking place on the servers and an investigation is ongoing.

Disinfection

For free software that will disinfect your computer visit Microsoft (opens new window)  or Symantec (opens new window)

Prevention – be Cyber Streetwise

Most malware can usually be avoided by following the basics: having up-to date security (anti-virus) software (opens new window) installed on all devices and not opening links within emails (opens new window) from unknown or suspicious sources.