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zombie-150If you want to help stop cybercrime and protect yourself from malware threats at the same time, today is a perfect day to do it: Kill a Zombie Day.*

We’re not talking about the kind of zombie you see in cult movies like Dawn of the Dead. No, these zombies are malicious programs that take control of your computer and turn it into an undead walker in the army of a cybercriminal.

The first step in killing a zombie is finding out if your computer is infected with malware or viruses. You can do that by downloading our free Virus Removal Tool and running it.

The tool will automatically grab the latest virus detection identities from Sophos and scan your computer’s memory and hard disk for malware. If you do find any zombies, the Virus Removal Tool will clean them up for you, too.

What are zombies?

A zombie – also called a “bot” as in “robot” – is malicious software used by criminals to take control of victim computers. Zombies are also what we call the computers once they are taken over by these malicious programs. The criminal (called a botmaster) can make your computer a zombie with malware hidden in spam or by tricking you into visiting compromised websites.

What do they do?

Zombie computers can be commanded to do just about anything you could do yourself, such as send emails, search for files, connect to other computers, or visit websites. A zombie can also be told to:

  • Log your keystrokes and send them back to the botmaster for stealing passwords
  • Download other malware onto your computer, like ransomware
  • Search your drives for interesting files to steal
  • Send spam – we’ve seen a single zombie send as much as 5 million spams per week

Learn more about how bots and zombies work in our Naked Security article: How bots and zombies work, and why you should care.

Where are the most zombies?

Each quarter we look at the volume of spam by country, which tells us which countries have the most zombies churning out spam.

Our Dirty Dozen spam charts show that these 12 countries – led by the United States, China, France, Russia and Italy – send the most spam and have the biggest number of zombies.


Kill a Zombie today

Even if you’re not living in one of our Dirty Dozen countries, make sure you aren’t one of the spam sending zombies. You can download our free Virus Removal Tool and scan your computer for malware and viruses.

If you’re clean, make sure you use an antivirus to stay that way.

Do yourself and the world a favor – kill that zombie, and help stop spam, malware, and cybercrime.

*Why not make every day Kill a Zombie Day?

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