London - Computer users were on Monday night urged to take action against a cyber virus spreading across the globe which has hit more than 15 000 in the UK.

The Gameover Zeus software has been temporarily held off by law agencies such as the National Crime Agency. But experts warn that the hackers will soon rebuild their network and strike again.

They advised installing anti-virus software and updating operating systems to the latest versions.

The virus puts data, including photographs and personal files, at risk and can lead to financial accounts being emptied.

It infects a computer when the user clicks on a link in an unsolicited email or website and steals details such as passwords which are sent to the hackers.

The software can even lock the computer until an online ransom of a Bitcoin, about £300 (about R5 400), is paid. - Daily Mail