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Over 1400 Computers Infected with Trojan Horse Malware in Cleveland Over 1400 Computers Infected with Trojan Horse Malware in Cleveland

Cyber crime specialists from Cleveland Police believe that there are over 1400 computers affected with a Trojan horse in the Cleveland area.

Trojan malware takes its name from the classical story of the Trojan horse, because it imitates the technique to infect computers. They initially appear to be something legitimate, but in fact do something malicious.

Police have released the statistics following a highly-sensitive operation with the aim of locating where Trojan horse malware exists. The areas most affected are;

  • • Linthorpe in Middlesbrough with 600 potential at risk computers
  • • Central Billingham with 400
  • • Saltburn with 130
  • • Hart ward in Hartlepool with 70

Police believe that there is a possibility that some computers could have been infected for years.

They are urging computer users to ensure that their systems are protected by legitimate and well-known anti-virus software and that passwords are then changed.

Officers are hosting an online web chat for anyone who wants to ask questions about Trojan malware or other viruses on Wednesday 28th June between 6pm and 8pm. The web chat is part of a week long campaign to raise awareness of cyber security.

PC Ian Turnbull from the Cleveland Police Cyber Crime Team said: “We believe over 1400 computers are infected throughout Cleveland and whilst we can’t specifically pin point the exact location by household, by raising overall awareness of Trojan horses we hope to reduce the figure dramatically.

“Some people are lucky and have a Trojan horse on their computer which hasn’t been accessed by criminals, but others are not so lucky and have bank details stolen, software and data corrupted, and key strokes logged for passwords.

“I would urge people to use strong passwords, to install anti-virus software and keep all software up to date.  It’s definitely worth the effort and expense to invest in anti-virus software because the cost of not being protected, both in terms of financial loss and emotional impact, could be huge.”

Anyone wishing to join the web chat can visit www.cleveland.police.uk or visit the Facebook and Twitter pages for Cleveland Police.  Information and advice can also be found by visiting www.getsafeonline.org.

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