Cyber criminals defraud over £675,000 from thousands of victims
13th August 2010
Cyber criminals have defrauded at least 3,000 people of more than £675,000 and millions more British internet bank customers are at risk.
The cyber criminals, thought to be an Eastern European group, have developed an internet virus which hides on home computers to steal confidential passwords and account details.
The virus, called Zeus 3, automatically checks whether there is more than £800 in the account before replacing the normal screen with a bogus website while making transfers to money mules. The virus was intentified by M86, a US security firm.
Ed Rowley, product manager at M86, said “it’s the first time we’ve seen it (tojan viruses) this automated and attacking UK banks. We’ve seen similar attacks in Germany. They will have targeted a big bank because they have a lot of customers. What they’re exploiting is users’ web browsers rather than the bank’s systems themselves”.
Last year £59.7 million was stolen through online banking fraud and this figure is set to rise in 2010. According to the latest report by Symantec on virus threats across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the UK ranked second for malicious activity between April and June this year.
It is important for individuals to protect their personal computers. Ensuring that the computer is protected by up to date anti-virus software is crucial. If an individual suspects they have been defrauded, computer forensics can be used to identify whether the computer was attacked by a virus.