“Powerful” cyber-attack due to hit UK computers in next fortnight

The FBI is collaborating with British investigators to track down criminals behind a cyber-attack which could see up to a million people’s bank details compromised.

The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) said that between 500,000 and a million computers have been infected worldwide, and urged people to change their passwords to protect them from what they described as a “powerful computer attack” in the next two weeks.

The two pieces of malware responsible for the attack are known as GOZeuS and CryptoLocker, and use email addresses to spread from one computer to another. The programs then remain in the computer trying to detect information such as bank details.

The CryptoLocker software can lock access to all computer files and threaten to delete them unless a user agrees to pay a ransom.  

The United States has named 30-year-old Russian hacker Evgeniy Bogachev as a key suspect behind the attack, and suspects that the group he leads has already raked in more than $100m (£60m).

Stewart Garrick, a senior investigator with the NCA, said to Sky News that the threat was mainly against individuals or businesses running Windows-based computers.

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