Cybercrime warning follows security success

Cybercriminals are still at work on the web
Cybercriminals are still at work on the web

Cybercrime experts are celebrating success against a computer fraud network - but are warning users that the need for vigilance is as great as ever.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) took down the Avalanche network, which since 2009 has sent out millions of fraudulent emails weekly - enabling cybercriminals to steal financial details and other personal information.

At any given time up to 500,000 computers worldwide are believed to have been carrying infections distributed through the Avalanche network.

However, in one day at the end of November officials from 30 countries including the UK took down 830,000 malicious web domains, with five arrests being made..

The NCA is advising computer users to remain alert to the threat of malware, offering the following advice.

To help protect yourself from the threat of malware you should ensure that you always download the latest software and app updates which contain vital security upgrades to help protect your devices - https://www.cyberaware.gov.uk/software-updates

Remember if an email or SMS text message is unexpected or you do not recognise the sender always take care not to open attachments, or click on links.

Free malware removal tools

If you think your computer has been infected you can use the below list of free tools to scan your computer and remove the malware. Only consider downloading anti-virus from websites that you have researched and are trusted:

ESET Online Scanner

Visit https://www.eset.com/us/online-scanner/ and follow instructions to download

McAfee Stinger

Visit http://www.mcafee.com/us/downloads/free-tools/index.aspx and follow instructions to download

Norton Power Eraser

Visit https://security.symantec.com/nbrt/npe.aspx and follow instructions to download

F-Secure

Visit https://www.f-secure.com/en/web/home_global/online-scanner and follow instructions to download

For additional online safety advice visit https://www.getsafeonline.org and https://www.cyberaware.gov.uk.