PandaLabs – Volume of Banking Trojans Rising

According to the security experts at Panda Security, US banks would face increasing threats from trojans although cyber criminals' main targets are foreign banks.

These trojans (specifically called 'Banker' Trojans) commonly rely on spam to attack users' PCs, either through links leading to a malicious webpage or through an attachment, according to Panda. When these trojans are loaded on a PC, their key purpose is to steal the victim's bank details. Further, these trojans normally lay dormant on the computer's memory and only become active when the user goes to a specific banking page. Notably, the malware pieces target a list of specific banks.

Sean-Paul Correll, Threat Researcher, Madrid-based Panda, says that the malware's design has been improved so that the already specified catalogue of targeted banks can be enhanced, raising the probability of US banks being attacked, as reported by searchfinancialsecurity on March 3, 2009.

Furthermore, there are reports that several malicious programs in circulation got tripled to over 31,000 per day during the middle of September 2008 just when the financial sector in the United States suddenly collapsed, said the researchers at Panda Security.

The explosion in cyber attacks during the fourth quarter of 2008 could step up further if the faltering state of the economy continues.

Commenting on this point, Correll said that organized groups of cyber criminals are becoming increasingly efficient at amassing huge numbers of bot-infected PCs to build networks called botnets. They are also deploying these networks to accumulate massive repositories of stolen information. Further, criminals in the cyber world have initiated a new surge of Web-based attack schemes in an attempt to exploit the confusion and fear created on account of the overturning financial markets. These schemes that often include online promotions, advertisements of phony antivirus software, lewd or funny videos, and get-rich-quick frauds increased recently with the crash of the financial markets.

Security experts also state that criminals are churning ever-new malware variants that are capable of escaping antiviruses and also helpful in yielding profits. Meanwhile, F-Secure reported that banking trojans increased from 15,969 in 2007 to 59,177 in 2008.

Related article: PandaLabs Report Discusses Movie Trojan and Other Worms

» SPAMfighter News - 13-03-2009

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