Zeus Virus Detected! The Signs You Need To Know

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The Zeus virus, also known as Zbot, is one of the most infamous and persistent malware threats to ever hit the cybersecurity landscape. In this blog, we'll delve into what the Zeus virus is, how it operates, and how you can protect yourself from its harmful effects.

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What is the Zeus virus, or ‘Zeus Trojan’?

The Zeus virus is a type of Trojan horse malware that was first detected in 2007 when it was used to steal sensitive information from the United States Department of Transportation. Since then, there have been a number of high-profile attacks by variants, including GameOverZeus and CryptoLocker ransomware.

The Zeus virus is primarily used to steal sensitive information such as banking credentials, credit card numbers, and other personal data. Zeus operates by infecting the victim's computer and capturing data entered into web forms, including login credentials and other personal information.

Where was Zeus first detected?

Zeus was first identified in 2007 when it was used to steal information from the United States Department of Transportation. Since then, it has been employed by cybercriminals worldwide, becoming one of the most pervasive and damaging malware strains.

Zeus virus scam: How does the Zeus virus manifest itself?

The Zeus Trojan virus typically spreads through phishing emails, malicious websites, and drive-by downloads. Once installed on a computer, it operates silently in the background, capturing keystrokes, screenshots, and other sensitive data. Users may not realize they are infected until significant damage has been done.

What is a Zeus virus alert?

A Zeus virus alert is a notification, often seen in pop-ups or warning messages, claiming that your computer is infected with the Zeus virus. These alerts can sometimes be legitimate, originating from your antivirus software. However, more often than not, they are fake warnings designed to trick you into installing additional malware or purchasing unnecessary software.

Zeus virus popup!: What is a fake Zeus virus warning?

A fake Zeus virus warning is a scare tactic used by cybercriminals. It usually appears as a pop-up message or a browser alert, warning that your computer is infected with the Zeus virus and urging you to call a technical support number or download a specific tool to remove the infection. These warnings are designed to trick you into revealing personal information or installing further malware.

I received this message: "Zeus virus detected, your computer has been blocked" - is this a scam?

The message "Zeus virus detected, your computer has been blocked" is typically a fake alert used by cybercriminals as part of a scam. The message is designed to scare you into believing that your computer is infected with the Zeus virus, a type of malware that can steal sensitive information like banking credentials.

These alerts usually come from malicious websites or ad pop-ups, not from legitimate antivirus software or security programs. They claim that your computer is blocked to create a sense of urgency.

The goal of these fake alerts is to trick you into taking specific actions, such as calling a fake tech support number, downloading and installing malicious software, or providing personal and financial information.

Zeus virus scams - What you should do

Do not panic: Understand that this is a scare tactic. The message is likely a scam designed to exploit your fear. Do not call any numbers: Do not call any phone numbers provided in the message. These are usually run by scammers who will attempt to extract money or personal information from you. Do not download any software: Avoid downloading or installing any software suggested by the alert. These programs may actually be malware. Close the alert: Try to close the browser tab or window displaying the alert. If you cannot close it, you may need to use Task Manager (press Ctrl + Shift + Esc) to force close your browser.

What dangers does the Zeus Trojan pose?

While the Zeus Trojan does not directly damage hardware, it significantly compromises the software and overall security of the infected system. It can:

  • Steal sensitive information by logging keystrokes.
  • Capture screenshots of sensitive information.
  • Inject malicious code into web pages.
  • Download additional malware onto the infected system.
  • Allow remote access to cybercriminals.

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Zeus virus detected: What to do if you think you may have the Zeus virus

If you suspect that your computer is infected with the Zeus virus, take the following steps immediately:

  • Step 1: Disconnect from the Internet to prevent further data theft.
  • Step 2: Run a Full System Scan using reputable antivirus software to detect and remove the malware.
  • Step 3: Change All Passwords for your online accounts from an uninfected device.
  • Step 4: Monitor Financial Accounts closely for any unauthorized transactions.

How to remove Zeus virus

Follow the steps below to remove the Zeus virus from your device:

How to remove Zeus Virus from Windows 7

Step 1: Disconnect from the Internet and restart your computer. After your PC restarts, select Safe Mode with Networking by pressing the corresponding number key (usually F5).

Step 2: Run a Full System Scan with Windows Defender - select the Start menu, "Windows Security," app, click on Virus & Threat protection, select Scan options and then choose ‘Full Scan’.

Step 3: Click ‘Scan Now’ to start the scan. Allow the process to complete, which may take some time depending on the size of your hard drive and the number of files.

Step 4: Check for and remove any suspicious programs that may have been installed alongside the Zeus virus - go to Settings > Apps > Apps & features.

Step 5: Clear your web browser’s cache and cookies to remove any malicious scripts.

For Microsoft Edge:

  • Open Edge and click on the three-dot menu in the top-right corner.
  • Go to Settings > Privacy, search, and services.
  • Under 'Clear browsing data', click 'Choose what to clear'.
  • Select 'Browsing history', 'Cookies and other site data', and 'Cached images and files', then click 'Clear now'.

For Google Chrome:

  • Open Chrome and click on the three-dot menu in the top-right corner.
  • Go to Settings > Privacy and security > Clear browsing data.
  • Select 'All time' for the time range, check 'Browsing history', 'Cookies and other site data', and 'Cached images and files'. Click 'Clear data'.

Step 6: Change the passwords for all your online accounts, particularly those related to financial institutions. Use a clean device to change your passwords, and ensure each password is strong and unique.

Step 7: If System Restore was disabled, re-enable it to protect your system from future infections.

Step 8: Ensure all your software, including Windows, browsers, and antivirus programs, are up-to-date to protect against vulnerabilities. Go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update and click ‘Check for updates’ - then install any available updates.

How to remove Zeus virus from Chrome

  • Reset Chrome Settings: Go to Settings > Advanced > Reset and clean up > Restore settings to their original defaults.
  • Remove suspicious extensions: Go to More tools > Extensions and remove any unknown or suspicious extensions.
  • Run antivirus scan: Use your antivirus software to scan and remove any threats.

Zeus virus removal - MAC

  • Restart in Safe Mode: Restart your Mac and hold down the Shift key until you see the Apple logo.
  • Run a malware scan: Use a reputable malware removal tool for Mac to scan and remove any infections.
  • Check login items: Go to System Preferences > Users & Groups > Login Items and remove any suspicious items. Reset Browser Settings: Clear your browser’s cache and cookies and reset it to default settings.

How can consumers protect themselves against the Zeus virus?

To protect yourself against the Zeus virus:

  • Use reputable antivirus software: Ensure you have a trusted antivirus program installed and keep it updated.
  • Be cautious of phishing emails: Avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from unknown sources.
  • Keep software updated: Regularly update your operating system and all software to patch vulnerabilities.
  • Enable firewall: Use a firewall to block unauthorized access to your computer.
  • Use strong, unique passwords: Employ complex passwords and change them regularly.

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Use RAV Endpoint Protection to protect against the Zeus Trojan

RAV Endpoint Protection offers comprehensive protection against a wide range of malware, including the Zeus Trojan, with 24/7 real-time monitoring for active protection against threats, enabling consumers to take action as quickly as possible.

For more information on how RAV Endpoint Protection detects, quarantines, or blocks suspicious files, and how it helps to protect your device, or to learn about RAV VPN or Online Security, visit www.reasonlabs.com.

By staying informed and vigilant, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to the Zeus virus and other cyber threats.