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

Hands typing on keyboard - Features News - Marie Claire
Hands typing on keyboard - Features News - Marie Claire
(Image credit: Rex Features)

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.


Natalia Lubomirski
Natalia is a health journalist with 14 years experience in the publishing industry. She has worked for a number of well known magazines and websites including Marie Claire, Woman&Home, Top Sante, Boots and The Telegraph.  She likes to think she practices what she preaches when it comes to health and fitness. Her athletic prowess began early. A keen fencer for 13 years, she wielded an epée for Olympic Team GB during her teenage years. She likes to think she made sword-fighting cool before Game of Thrones came along! While working on her sporting performance with the team, she also participated in a lot of nutrition and psychology training, When it comes to time off, you’ll most likely find her up a mountain somewhere. It seems holidays have become a time for climbing several thousand feet, rather than chilling out. She’s now hiked eight of the major mountain ranges across four continents – including the Appalachians, the Smokies, the Sierra Nevadas (she spent her honeymoon hiking to the top of Half Dome), as well as hitting the summits of Snowdon, Pen-Y-Fan (Brecon Beacons), Table Mountain in South Africa, the Blue Mountains in Australia and the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. She’s also passionate about all things health, particularly vaccinations, and will happily jump on her soap box at any given opportunity to talk about their benefits to anyone who will listen!