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Small Businesses must act now to secure themselves from GOZeuS and Cryptolocker malware

By Thomas Costello - June 3, 2014

Small businesses are being urged to take precautionary measures to protect their businesses online. We host over one million websites, and our advice for businesses is to treat these media reports seriously.

The National Crime Agency is warning computer users that they have less than two weeks to protect against a ‘powerful’ computer hack that could have serious consequences for small businesses. The two pieces of malware software known as GOZeuS and Cryptolocker are responsible for the alert and typically infect a computer via attachments or links within emails.

Internet service providers are said to be contacting customers known to have been affected by the issues with many being urged to take precautionary measures immediately.

The discovery of potentially one of the most dangerous malware attacks in internet history puts possibly millions of individuals and businesses in the United Kingdom at risk if measures are not put in place in the next two weeks.

It is vital that both individuals and businesses take such security vulnerabilities seriously and protect themselves within the next two weeks, in the first instance.

Businesses and individuals should make sure their internet security is up to date and in use, view emails with attachments sent from unknown senders with caution, avoid storing passwords on computers and make sure that backups are in place.

Get Safe Online, offers free expert advice on online security matters and they have created a great detailed post on how to protect your computer , finances and your identity against this new global online threat.

Online phishing attacks have become more and more common over the past five years as more businesses have moved online. Whilst this is highly positive for business, it does present dangers for consumers and opportunities for criminals. That is why today it is vital that businesses understand such risks.

Crucially business owners must be wise to new and growing online threats because any security flaws seen or experienced by customers can be devastating to the credibility of any business.

UPDATE – 18th June 2014:

The deadline for computer users to protect their machines passed at midnight on 17th June. The National Crime Agency (NCA) confirmed that whilst many have heeded this advice, thousands of machines remain at risk.

“Current indications are that UK GoZeuS and CryptoLocker infections have reduced since 2 June, but thousands of systems remain affected or at risk,” the NCA concluded.