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January 17, 2008

New virus threat for bank accounts

by Richard Kilner

Story link: New virus threat for bank accounts

A Trojan Horse computer virus, nicknamed the ’silentbanker’, has become the latest online menace, and one of the most serious.

The virus works by getting between users and their bank’s website, allowing the virus to empty accounts and ruin the finances of the unfortunate individual.

Downloading the virus can occur simply by browsing the internet, and both its downloading and operation is invisible.

The first sign that something could be amiss could be notification from the bank.

In addition, the virus’ creators are sending out e-mails containing the virus.

Globally, hundreds of banks have been attacked by the virus, which works in a number of different languages and in a variety of countries.

Symantec, the computer security firm, has described silentbanker as one of the most sophisticated pieces of virus software they have ever seen.

There is a fundamental difference between the silentbanker and a more orthodox online banking scam. Ordinarily fake websites with similar addresses to the real website are set up, in an effort to attain usernames and passwords.

However, the silentbanker works with the actual bank website, and can be used to acquire not just money directly from the account, but credit card details and other items of personal information.

Anti-virus programmes that have recently been updated should be enough to protect a user from the new threat, but those with outdated protection, or none whatsoever, remain vulnerable to silentbanker.


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