Everyone should get their computers scanned – free – ASAP to prevent one of the worst malicious virus infestations in history, the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (USCERT) announced Thursday (12/1/16).

The malware came from “Avalanche,” a crime syndicate in the dark internet that sold software to take over systems, infect networks, create robot networks, and launch ransomware – a particular malicious infestation that kidnaps computers by encrypting everything on the machine and demanding ransom payments to undo the hijack.

“They sent more than one million emails with damaging attachments or links every week to unsuspecting victims” and – daily – infected as many as 500,000 computers,” Europol said in a release for Europeans on the same day.

Avalanche’s international cyber crime network as taken down by U.S. and European law enforcement on Thursday.  More than 800,000 internet domains were seized, in addition to the arrests.

“This law enforcement action will NOT clean malware off any affected computers,” police said.  “All systems infected were Microsoft Windows based.”

“Companies and consumer should take this opportunity to scan their systems for the different families of malware that the Avalanche botnet distributed,” security researcher Stephen Cobb advised.

For the USCERT: News Release

For the ESET Online Scanners: Link to scanner

F-Secure:  On-Line Scanners

McAfee: Free Tools

Microsoft: Safety Scanner

Norton: Power Eraser