An investigation has been launched in the aftermath of the discovery that a computer in the US that was found to contain information from hacked computers based in the UK. It appears that data from some 2,300 computers was harvested by the use of a computer virus. The Metropolitan Police's Computer Crime Unit is currently investigating.

E-mail addresses, passwords, credit card numbers and other confidential information have been found in the data. All of the affected users appear to be UK based, and those who appear to be victims are being notified via email. What was the purpose of all of this? Well, identify theft seems to be a likely motive.

A police spokesman said that victims who are e-mailed by the Met's Computer Crime Unit should contact the Unit immediately with the details supplied. As always, users are advised to update antivirus programs regularly, to install the latest patches for their operating system, and to use some kind of software firewall. A NAT router can also protect you from unsolicited internet traffic.