The Biggest Online Banking Fraud Unearthed in UK

By Dipankar Das, Gaea News Network
Thursday, August 5, 2010

bank_fraud According to the latest research in Israel, a network of 100,000 compromised computers, called Botnet are used to defraud the online banking details. The scam was unearthed in UK.  Cyber criminals in eastern Europe are using those PCs to get personal data. That includes login details for online banks, credit and debit card numbers and other passwords. Mr Klein continued that the 100,000 Windows PCs have been infected by a Trojan known called Zeus. Trojans are a type of program or message that looks very simple from outside but they are very malicious under the surface.

Amit Klein, chief technology officer at Trusteer who uncovered the scam commented that the crooks are already familiar with the UK banking system. He further said that his company already contacted Metropolitan Police central e-crime unit for this fraud. A spokesperson for UK Payments who deals with this kind of fraud said that this type of attack is normal phenomenon.

“100,000 computers being targeted by a trojan does not necessarily mean that 100,000 UK customers will have had their details successfully used by the fraudster.

A few hundred computers are infected by Zeus as per Mr Klein. However, this is an unique case because it used a new type of the Malware and also mainly targeted people in the UK. The firm has information which banks are targeted. Here is how it works.  The victim might have visited an infected website. Thereafter, the control of his PC goes in the hand of cyberattackers. It allows them to monitor and collect all kind of bank details from the victim’s PC. Later, those criminals can sign in your account and use them for their own interest.

“When you initiate a transaction, they may change the destination and the amount of money that you wire, he said. Rather than sending £100 to your aunt, you may find that your account balance is sent to Ukraine.”

Mr Klein also added that the Zeus Trojan is a common type of Malaware that  infects millions of Windows machines across the globe.Networks of infected machines which are under the control of cyber gangs are known as botnets. These are commonly used to send out bulk spam. But Zeus specifically was designed to target financial information. Mr Klein added that if you can write Malware for six to twelve banks in UK,  that is going to cover most of the UK Financial market. This is most likely that the criminals targeted UK banks because they have developed banking system.

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