Police have warned people to be vigilant following the arrest of 17 people all suspected of stealing information from computers.
The men, all from the UK, alledgedly used malicious software designed to take over, control and steal information from computers.
Over 15,800 devices are known to be infected in the UK with ‘Zeus GameOver’ malware that allows criminals to steal money from online accounts, capture passwords and personal data, turn on webcams remotely, or even morph into ransomeware that encrypts all the user’s files.
Head of Cyber Crime for Northamptonshire Police, Detective Inspector Steve Henderson, said: “Though nobody was arrested in Northamptonshire, it doesn’t mean people in the county aren’t at risk as this is a global phenomenon.
“There have been reports of people receiving messages on their computers and mobile phones purporting to be from their local police force, asking for money in order to have their files cleaned.
“Police would never ask for money in this way and anybody receiving such a message should contact us immediately on 101. I urge people to ensure they keep anti-virus software regularly updated, and to back up their computers and other electronic devices”.
Anybody who believes they have lost money through malware should report is a www.actionfraud.police.uk.