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Gameover...Or is it?

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The Gameover Zeus, a botnet specifically designed to steal banking and other credentials, was disrupted last week. Thanks to the Russian cyber mob this botnet has been around for a while now. But what does that mean, especially if it was disrupted by the FBI?

A traditional botnet infects a personal computer that is controlled by a central server. The personal computer becomes a "bot" on a "network" of these infected machines hence the name botnet. They are controlled by the server to steal information by collecting it on the server.

The Gameover botnet is a little bit different because it creates smaller networks of these infected systems that it calls "peers" at the bottom level then there are higher level, more infected machines that it uses as "proxy nodes" and then there is a server at the top that collects the stolen data. The Gameover botnet also has a failsafe mechanism using this peer-to-peer (P2P) approach that makes its takedown much more difficult for law enforcement officials. It is spread through spam and phishing emails.

Could you be infected?
-Does your computer system operate very slowly?
-Does the cursor move with no input from you?
-You have noticed unauthorized logins to bank accounts or unauthorized money transfers?
-Text-based chat windows appear on your computer's desktop unexpectedly?
If you notice any of these you could be infected.

How to safeguard your computer against viruses/malware:
-Make sure you have an updated virus protection on your computer always
-Have strong passwords and make sure all your passwords are different for each account and don't write down or share passwords
-Be sure your OS and ofter software is always up-to-date
-Use pop-up blockers in your browsers
-Don't open attachments in unsolicited emails, even if they are from people you know
-Only download software--especially free software--from sites you know and trust

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