Warnings to the UK public that they have two weeks to protect their computers from the Gameover Zeus malware have caused advice site Get Safe Online be unavailable for almost 12 hours due to huge demand.
On Monday, the UK's National Crime Agency (NCA) together with other enforcement agencies such as the FBI and Europol announced they had taken control of the Gameover botnet, temporarily disabling it.
GameOver Zeus is malware that installs itself on a victim's machine, often having been installed by the target unwittingly via a phishing attack. Once inside, the tool monitors the key strokes made by users when accessing internet services such as online banking, enabling the criminals behind the malware to access accounts.
Experts believe between 500,000 and one million computers are infected, and the FBI estimates $100m has been lost by individuals and businesses around the world.
The takedown is likely to only last a few weeks before the crooks are able to get the malware back up and running, so computer users have been urged to purge and protect their systems, with Get Safe Online cited as a good source of advice on how to do this.
However, despite anticipating a huge surge in traffic, the organisation was ill-prepared for the traffic deluge, leading to it being unavailable for almost the entire time since the warning was made.
Get Safe Online told V3: “Although we took advance action to increase our website capacity before the announcement was made there has been an unprecedented demand for the information.
“It’s really encouraging that people are taking their online safety seriously and we are sorry that the advice hasn’t been accessible via the website.”
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