Hackers create new virus to steal from online bankers

Thousands of pounds have been emptied from online bank accounts as the most sophisticated trojan virus is created

According to US web company M86 Security, international cyber criminals have stolen £675,000 from a British high street bank using a new trojan virus that is rated as one of the most sophisticated malware programs ever.

This latest Zeus trojan banking virus, called Zeus v3, has swiped between £1000 and £3000 from 3000 individual online bank accounts.

M86 Security said: ‘We’ve never seen such a sophisticated and dangerous threat.’

The virus, which originated from a server in eastern Europe, has spread through legitimate websites and advertising, infecting computers.

The virus lies dormant until the customer logs onto their banking page and their log-in and password details are stolen. From there the account is easily hacked into and the account emptied.

Worryingly, the trojan can even fake web pages, such as bank statements, to conceal the withdrawals and prevent early detection.

M86 advises that you check your bank account by visiting your branch, ensuring you have a good idea of how much is in there.

‘This is an extremely sophisticated version of the virus and it cannot be detected by traditional security software,’ says Bradley Anstis, M86 vice-president of technology strategy.

However, M86 does feel that more could have been done by the bank to prevent the attack. Apparently, the bank failed to act quickly after warnings of a threat last month.

This is the latest security breach in a long line of many. Last year online banking reported a total loss of almost £60million through online hackers, and that figure looks set to rise.

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