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Banker Trojans Spread Deeper and Wider

Trojans, used for extorting financial information by its creators, represent one of the most rapidly growing threats on the Internet, warned Security experts on March 29, 2007.

PandaLabs has detected a Trojan called StealAll.A that poses serious threat to Internet users. It plants a DLL in the browser to extort users' data.

With financial institutions adopting additional security devices, such as the use of virtual keyboards to prevent keyloggers who record what users enter on their keyboards there has been a rapid increase in banker Trojans.

According to PandaLabs, of the total new malware that emerged in 2006, 53.6% were trojans and 20% were banker Trojans. The detection tests found these trojans appearing most frequently in 2006.

There is another type of Trojan that online criminals use for 'pharming'. This Trojan modifies the domain name system and then directs the user to fraudulent web pages, spoofing to be legitimate banking or financial institutions' web pages, to seize the user's data from there.

Banker trojans currently pose a severe threat for Internet users as attacks using this code can drastically affect users' finances, admonished Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs in a statement that vnuet.com published on March 29, 2007.

The installation and operation of these trojans happens without the user's notice. This therefore summons proactive technologies for users to detect such threats by analyzing the Trojan's activities.

IT security firm Sophos during the end week of March 2007 warned investors in Europe that a pump-and-dump stock spam scam used such a Trojan to embezzle the share value of a business company under the German stock exchange list.

According to Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos, this was the first instance of a widespread stock scam based outside USA. If spammers succeeded in manipulating the stock's prices so easily then users of German language PCs would seriously find their pockets drained out. Finextra.com published Cluley's statement on March 30, 2007.

Earlier in March this year U.S. prosecutors filed federal suit charging three Indian citizens who allegedly hacked online accounts of U.S. brokerage firms with the objective to start pump-and-dump scams.

Related article: Banker Trojans, the Worst Malware in Q2 2008

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