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ZeuS Trojan responsible for half of online banking attacks

by Brian Sims

Along with phishing campaigns, banking Trojans are a principal method chosen by cyber criminals to attack users and manipulate online transactions. The G Data Security Labs analysis for the first quarter of 2013 has revealed that ZeuS Trojans and variants of these are currently the commonest programs used to launch such attacks, representing more than half of all infections detected during the first three months of this year. The ZeuS clone Citadel was one of the biggest culprits. The number of infections has increased slightly compared to the last quarter of 2012, even though arrests have once again been making life difficult for cyber criminals. The number of dangerous malware programs is expected to continue to rise in the coming months. Discovered families of banking Trojans in the first quarter of 2013 showed that ZeuS was involved in 57.58 per cent of attacks. Others included Sinowal (12.63 per cent), Tatanga (11.75 per cent), Bebloh (5.38 per cent) and Bankpatch (5.06 per cent). It is expected that ZeuS, Carperb and the like will continue to consolidate their stronghold in the area of bank customer fraud. The cyber criminals will bounce back from the numerous arrests of recent months, leading to another increase in the number of infections via banking Trojans. The income opportunities for cyber criminals in this crime sector are significant. Cyber criminals will increasingly look to cover their tracks during online banking fraud. As with a number of botnets, communication between banking Trojans and the command-and-control servers will take place in the background via anonymisation services such as the Tor network. In addition to this, experts expect that Twitter and other peer-to-peer networks will continue to be misused by criminals.

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