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Zeus Trojan Targets Online Banking, Steals $1 Million from British Accounts

A sophisticated new Trojan has over the summer caused some $1 million in losses for a British bank by targeting online banking. And it's being billed as the "most dangerous Trojan virus ever created."

A sophisticated new Trojan has over the summer caused some $1 million in losses for a British bank by targeting online banking. And it's being billed as the "most dangerous Trojan virus ever created."

Dubbed the Zeus v3, the Trojan has infected computers by way of hiding in advertisements on legitimate websites, the Daily Mail reports. Once its infected a computer, the Zeus Trojan then records customer information when users logon to their online banking services.

The Trojan was discovered by M86 Security Labs, a group of security analysts specializing in email and web threats.

Once a computer is infected, Zeus v3 logs such customer information as their username, birthday and other information and sends it to a control center in Eastern European. It then initiates a money transfer in counts with a balance of greater than GBP 800.

CNET News explains how it works.

When the user interacts with the transaction form for legitimate business, the Trojan works behind the scenes to manipulate the transaction. First it checks the account balance and if it is over a certain amount it will determine how much to steal within a limit so as not to trigger automatic fraud detection alarms.

The money is transferred to bank accounts of so-called "money mules," typically innocent people recruited to use their own bank accounts to funnel money through. From there, the money is transferred to accounts in other countries that are controlled by the scammers.

The Zeus v3 Trojan is undetectable by traditional anti-virus software.

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