You may have heard rumors about a new “money-stealing virus” and this time the rumors are true. There is a new virus called GameOver Zeus (GOZ) that can steal your bank account numbers as well as your passwords. The virus sends your bank credentials directly to hackers so they can drain your account. Thus far Zeus has stolen more than $100 million dollars. The Justice Department announced this week that the U.S. just shut down a cyber crime ring that infected between 500,000 and 1 million computers with the Zeus virus.
Follow these steps to prevent yourself from becoming the next victim to Zeus:
- Invest in good anti-virus software: If you don’t have any anti-virus software on your PC, you should install some ASAP. There are many different types of software from different companies for different prices, so just choose one that fits in your budget and works on your system.
- Update your current software: Software patches stop attackers from taking advantage of known problems or vulnerabilities. Many operating systems offer automatic updates, and if this option is available, you should enable it.
- Take Advantage of anti-malware tools: The US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) has put together a list of Anti-Malware tools to remove Zeus from your system.
- Change your passwords: This is a no brainer and should always be done immediately after a large virus or password leak takes place. US-CERT has not specified which passwords are vulnerable, so to be safe you should change all bank account passwords. A good rule of thumb is to change your passwords every 6 months.
GOZ can also send spam emails that damage other computer systems and networks so make sure that you are not contributing to the spread of GOZ. Although the government shut down the group responsible for GOZ, which was led by Russian hacker Evgeniy Bogachev, the malware from the virus still exists. Only PCs are affected, specifically the following: Microsoft Windows 95, 98, Me, 2000, XP, Vista, 7 and 8 and Microsoft Server 2003, Server 2008, Server 2008 R2, and Server 201, according to US-CERT.