According to a Tokyo-based antivirus company, over 400 cases have been reported by banks worldwide involving a new malware that lies dormant on browsers until it ‘sees’ the user visiting banking websites then becomes active to ‘steal’ information.
Trend Micro says the new malware starts with the old trick of sending a spam message with detailed financial transactions and a link, but instead of leading users to fake websites that might trick them to type their bank details, it will insert a malicious code into the browser so it can later detect when the user is banking online.
According to JD Sherry, the vice president of technology and solutions at Trend Micro, the malware has terminology and graphics that would make you believe it is legitimate, and once you click on the accompanying link, you will not have the intelligence to tell that it was actually a bad link.
Last year there were millions of banking malware strains that were unleashed on unsuspecting users; in fact they were double the previous year’s figures. This new malware called Emotet was first seen in Germany; there were 75 percent complaints across Europe, Middle East and Africa. The other 25 percent of complaints were from across Asia-Pacific, Japan and the U.S.
Most of these banking malware followed the model of Gameover Zeus. This is a network whose control was seized by the international law enforcement authorities in June. Gameover ZeuS managed to lift banking credentials from up to one million infected Microsoft Windows computers. It intercepted online transactions so as to by-pass authentication and displayed fake security massages to gain credentials, scooping more than $100 million.
Gameover ZeuS uses an encrypted peer-to-peer communication system greatly reducing its chances of detection by law enforcement authorities. In early June, the international inter-agency collaboration managed to temporarily cut the communication between the malware and its command and control servers.
This new malware lures users via the spam messages that look very genuine, mimicking shipping invoices and bank transfer notices. The messages look so real that the users can not suspect anything. And once you click the link you will never know what follows.
One of the old ways of noticing a spam is that the messages are full of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. But Emotet is very sly because its messages are less conspicuous and it hides until users enter banking websites. It doesn’t act in the usual way of slowing applications down continually running.
Sherry says this new malware makes two computer rules more critical; download an antivirus program only from a reputable security company and don’t click on anything you didn’t actively search for or land on through your own browsing
If your antivirus needs updates, you need to download and install them from time to ensure that you are safe. Some antivirus apps update automatically when you are connected to the internet.
Another way to stay safe is to use settings. There are several settings in the Android operating system that you can use to prevent malicious attacks