A Trojan has been identified as having stolen details from around 500,000 online bank accounts and credit and debit cards.


It has been described by RSA, who tracked the Sinowal downloader, as ‘one of the most advanced pieces of crimeware ever created.' It claimed that the Trojan had compromised more than 270,000 banking accounts and 240,000 credit and debit cards since it was first identified in February 2006.


RSA said it is co-operating with banks and financial institutions the world over to tell them about Sinowal. It has passed information about the virus to law enforcement agencies.


Sean Brady of RSA's security division, told the BBC: “The effect has been really global with over 2000 domains compromised. This is a serious incident on a very noticeable scale and we have seen an increase in the number of trojans and their variants, particularly in the States and Canada.


“One of the key points of interest about this particular trojan is that it has existed for two and a half years quietly collecting information. Any IT professional will tell you it costs a lot to maintain and to store the information it is gathering.


“The group behind it have made sure to invest in the infrastructure no doubt because the return and the potential return is so great.”