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Trojans Attacking Internet Bank Accounts Rapidly Increasing

According to F-Secure, a security company in Finland, trojans that compromise online bank accounts are increasing constantly as the number detected in 2008 were four times more than that in 2007. Specifically, F-Secure estimated that 59,177 distinct banking trojans circulated in 2008 against 15,969 during 2007.

Distinct from phishing attacks that trick users into entering their login details on phony bank sites, the banking trojans capture data in various ways. The programs are difficult to notice as they wait on the hard drive of the end-user to get an opportunity to break into his banking account. Thus, as soon as the user accesses his banking site, the Trojan grabs his username and password, explained the company.

In addition, these trojans are downloaded when a user clicks on a malicious link pointing to a video or e-card sent through spam or when he views an Internet site that hackers have already compromised.

Security researchers state that these trojans stealing banking information are more developed and faster in their evolution compared to the antivirus products. Moreover, online criminals are creating even more developed variants to dodge antivirus software in their profit programs.

Moreover, the mechanisms of the banking trojans circulating nowadays vary from each other. For example, the man-in-the-middle trojans record keystrokes or replicates the log-on webpage once the user has entered the information.

Another kind of Trojan conducts illegal money transfers when the victim logs onto the banking site. To sound more convincing, the Trojan may present the victim a duplicate of the page displaying account balances, other than the changed balances, to display the figures the user anticipates to see.

Commenting on the issue, the American Bankers Association advised Internet banking customers to access the sites from their regular computer rather than a shared one so that they remain safe from such Trojan attacks.

Moreover, given the ease with which banking transactions are done online, hackers are easily accessing to people's bank accounts. Thus, the number of trojans designed for the purpose rose from 17,000 during January 2008 to over 59,000 by the time the year ended, as reported by NEWSFACTOR on February 25, 2009.

Related article: Trojans to Target VoIP in 2006

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