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FBI warns of new Zeus-based malware phishing scam


What’s the story?

The FBI last week issued warning of a new phishing scam known as “Gameover”. Should the malware gain access to your PC, it can steal usernames, passwords and even circumvent user authentication on banking web pages.

The FBI said it has seen an increase in the use of Gameover, which is an email phishing scheme using the names of prominent government financial institutions – the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA), the Federal Reserve Bank or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

The FBI says Gameover is a more recent variant of the Zeus malware, which was created several years ago and was designed to specifically harvest banking information.

Who is affected?

Given that the scam is perpetrated via email, anyone could fall foul of this scheme.

Here’s how the FBI describes the scam: “Typically, you receive an unsolicited e-mail from NACHA, the Federal Reserve, or the FDIC telling you that there’s a problem with your bank account or a recent ACH transaction. (ACH stands for Automated Clearing House, a network for a wide variety of financial transactions in the U.S.) The sender has included a link in the e-mail for you that will supposedly help you resolve whatever the issue is. Unfortunately, the link goes to a phony website, and once you’re there, you inadvertently download the Gameover malware, which promptly infects your computer and steals your banking information.”

How do I stay safe?

Make sure you do not fall prey to a phishing scam like this with AVG’s top three tips to staying safe.

  • Too Good To Be True

In these days of New Year sales it is tempting to open up an offer that seems too good to be true. More often than not, these “incredible offers” aren’t legit and you should exercise caution when investigating.

  • Trust Your Instinct

If you receive an email claiming you’ve paid nearly $300 for a flight that you’re unaware of, chances are that you haven’t. These tricks play on your insecurities, be confident in your actions online.

  • Get Protected

Getting a basic level of internet security can help protect you from phishing attacks and fraudsters by warning you when you are going to an unsafe site. AVG’s LinkscannerT technology does this before you land on the page so that you are aware of the threat prior to exposure.

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