A botnet that controls more than 100,000 infected computers has been detected and named as ‘Zeus version 2'.
Trusteer claimed that 98 per cent of its victims are UK internet users and details harvested included online account IDs, login information to banks, credit and debit card numbers, as well as account types and balances, bank statements, browser cookies and client side certificates. Login information for email accounts and social networks was also found.
The company said that it discovered the extent of the botnet after it gained access to the botnet's drop servers and command and control centre which contained the stolen information.
Amit Klein, Trusteer's chief technology officer, said: “This is just one out of many Zeus 2 botnets operating all over the world. What is especially worrying is that this botnet doesn't just stop at user IDs and passwords. By harvesting client side certificates and cookies, the cyber criminals can extract a lot of extra information on the user that can be used to augment their illegal access to those users' online accounts.
“Coupled with the ability to remotely control users' machines, download data and run any file on them, this means that the fraudsters can insert partial or complete internet pages into a live web session, enabling them to inject transactions at will or extract even more data from the hapless victims.”
Jim Stikeleather, chief innovation officer at Dell Services, said: “This latest scam is yet another example of why everyone has a responsibility for security. Fraudsters are becoming ever more sophisticated and it is clear that the top down centralised security models are just not working well enough. At the end of the day, the individual has to take some form of responsibility for protecting personal information.
“These days, it is imperative that people are prudent and rational and don't do anything to put their personal information at risk. However currently, less than ten per cent of the population has any knowledge of what goes on. There's a huge educational onus to inform them in a way that they can act in a prudent manner. We have a huge educational responsibility as a society.”