I just received my first ever telephone emergency alert from our campus autodialing emergency alert system. Today’s emergency? A computer virus has shut down the campus computers. The recorded message adds that the virus not limited to the campus system and advises everyone to obtain the latest updates of their antivirus software.
I had heard of the emergency calling system, and yesterday received my first test call, but I figured the system would be used to announce school closings in case of snow. How times change.
The BBC news has more information:
Zeus 1.6 can infect people using Firefox and Internet Explorer web browsers, the company claims.
The malware steals login information by recording keystrokes when the infected user is on a list of target websites.
These websites are usually banks and other financial institutions.
The user’s data is then sent to a remote server to be used and sold on by cyber-criminals.
The black market Zeus botnet was being run out of Kazakhstan and was cut off in March, but apparently it’s back.
For Windows users, here is the link to the official Microsoft Malware Protection Center web page where you can run a free scan, download their free products, or download updates with the latest definitions for a product you already have. Or better yet, don’t trust me; google “Microsoft Malware Protection Center” for yourself and go there directly from the google link.
UPDATE: 4/21/10, “McAfee Inc. confirmed that a software update it posted at 9 a.m. Eastern time caused its antivirus program for corporate customers to misidentify a harmless file.”