New generation of malware threatening secure online banking

Posted: November 18, 2012 in Articles
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Online bankingRemote banking and electronic payments via the Internet has made our life more comfortable – banking operations can now be performed from any location equipped with Internet access, without visiting a bank office.

However, we must constantly ask ourselves the question: how much of our equipment protected from the banking malware? A timely manner, we update their browsers and operating systems? It is known that about 85% of Internet users neglect regular installing the latest OS and application patches, thus increasing the possibility of breaking their digital devices almost tripled.

Number of programs, data stealing online banking is growing rapidly, the infection rate increased sharply banking malware. Take, for example, the rapid spread malware Citadel. This Trojan is designed specifically to attack Internet users and continuously improved since its introduction. Citadel is based on the code of one of the oldest and most popular in the hacker environment malware – bot Zeus. Since its release in the clear code of Zeus was the basis for the development of a set of banking Trojans, such as the latest versions IceIx and Citadel.

Just as Zeus, Citadel sold on the black market in the form of development packages that include the code and tools for its further improvement. Development packages allow cybercriminals to quickly and easily refine and customize the Trojans in accordance with their needs and characteristics of their botnet command infrastructure. Citadel authors went further, launching an online platform through which consumers can request packets from the authors Citadel options, report bugs, and even offer modules that extend the functionality of the Trojan. Thus, the malware has already turned into a full service, and the hacker community and their customers – to a full social network!

Citadel has a number of enhancements, such as the use of AES encryption algorithm to encrypt configuration files, blocking infected computers connection to the site of anti-virus vendors, disabling services automated tracking botnets, and remote video screen captures.

As a new generation of malware, Citadel is extremely versatile. Trojan shows users fake popups Live Chat service online banking, through which attempts to steal confidential information. The user is informed that the online banking system can not identify his computer and need to pass the additional verification. Then prompted for credentials that are used for fraudulent bank account. The only thing that can keep you from compromising their logins and passwords – his own careful and effective antivirus. In addition, should alert and poor English language messages – Citadel authors are Russian virus writers, who speak English poorly.

Without a doubt, the World Wide Web is no longer “safe harbor” for Internet users, especially during financial transactions. The threat of banking malware is now much higher than in 2010, the threat of Zeus, «ancestor” of many of them. Moreover, the creation of an even more complex malware based Trojan Citadels – only a matter of time.

For these reasons, it is critical to users promptly update the browsers and other software, and use a reliable antivirus. Be vigilant and do not click-click on unexpected messages online banking, especially written with grammatical and spelling mistakes!

Related article: How to do safe online purchases

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