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Trojan ZeuS Behind Bank Account Hacking in Bullitt County

Investigators at SecureWorks, an Internet security company, report that computer thieves from Ukraine, who attacked Bullitt County's bank account in Kentucky (USA) to steal $415,989, employed the ZeuS Trojan to break into more accounts in Spain, Italy and the UK for stealing an estimated $6 Million.

The theft from the county's accounts took place at the end of June 2009, while FBI investigators stated that malicious software was used to accomplish the task. However, it is still not clear where the stolen Bullitt County funds gone. The county as well as the Elizabethtown, Ky.-based First Federal Savings Bank the county's bank, are currently blaming each other for the security infringement.

After the event, officials at the County have sued the bank demanding repayment of the lost money whereas the bank has claimed that the problem started not from its own computers but from those of the county.

An FBI Spokesman for the Louisville Office stated that many more weeks might be required to complete the investigation. However, computer specialists state that the malware that Bullitt officials detected as 'ZeuS,' represents a treacherous Trojan commonly employed by hackers. A Trojan is software which looks like a genuine file but in reality perform illegal activities.

However, Don Jackson, Director of computer security firm SecureWorks, stated that the ZeuS virus was an extremely serious malware the firm had ever witnessed, as reported by UPI on July 27, 2009.

Jackson further said that the virus had gained more popularity over the months, February-July 2009, adding that 2-4 predominant ZeuS attacks were occurring every month in comparison to 1-0 attack in the earlier months.

A SecureWorks spokeswoman said that antivirus software were able to block most strains of ZeuS, but once the virus managed to install itself, it grabbed all that was required to play the end-user.

Besides, Zeus can be difficult to detect as it does not initiate pop-ups or slows down PCs, while spreading via Web browsing, security researchers said.

Computer users are therefore recommended to surf via leading search engines such as Yahoo and Google as they effectively remove infected websites.

Related article: Trojans to Target VoIP in 2006

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