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NCA urges people to check for malware

December 1st 2016

We have published a list below of free tools you can use to check if your computer has been infected by a type of malware which has been the subject of a global law enforcement operation.

This follows a warning by the National Crime Agency (NCA) ito people to protect themselves from malware (malicious software) which was being spread by a computer network known as 'Avalanche'.

Avalanche, which was set up in 2009, was used to send out millions of fraudulent emails weekly enabling cybercriminals to steal personal information such as financial details. At any given time up to 500,000 computers worldwide are believed to have been carrying infections distributed through the Avalanche networkMalware on the Avalanche system concentrated on, but was not limited to, Windows PC vulnerabilities.

On 30 November 2016 a global operation by police forces from more than 30 countries, including the UK, resulted in criminal enterprises losing access to Avalanche,

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.  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.


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. Consider downloading anti-virus from only from websites that you have researched and are trusted:


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Tony Neate, CEO of Get Safe Online, commented: “Get Safe Online is working with its partners the National Crime Agency (NCA) and Europol to share details of today’s landmark cybercrime announcement. The dismantling of the infamous Avalanche cloud hosting server by Europol and its global partners – including the UK’s National Crime Agency – is a real win for internet users across the globe. With a huge number of cyber criminals using the server to launch fraudulent email and malware campaigns on unsuspecting members of the public and businesses around the world, this really is a major breakthrough for authorities against organised cybercrime.

“Although the internet will be safer as a result of this recent operation, we do, however all still need to take responsibility for our own online security as there are still huge numbers of cybercriminals out there, devising increasingly devious ways to defraud us. As a result, we’d strongly advise people to ensure that they are updating the operating systems, software and apps on their various devices and ensuring security software is always updated. What’s more, we all need to ensure that we have a different, secure password for each online account we own and website we visit. When it comes to the emails they receive, we would urge people to ensure they are cautious about opening emails from unknown senders – particularly if they contain misspellings, or contain details of urgent discount offers or requests for financial assistance. By following simple steps like these, we really can make the lives of cybercriminals harder and protect our own online security.”


By Get Safe Online