independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Hackers steal €36m from banks

HACKERS have stolen more than €36m from 30 banks across Europe using a new virus that spreads from a person's computer to their mobile phone.

The Trojan virus, known as "Eurograbber", attacked more than 30,000 users of online banking in Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands, among other countries, and was designed to attack customers using online banking.

According to the internet security firm Check Point Technologies, Eurograbber began in Italy before spreading across the rest of the continent.

This is not the first attempt at theft through online systems. Earlier this year, Operation High Roller saw an estimated $60m (€45m) in fraudulent money transfers at 60 financial institutions, according to Guardian Analytics, an online banking security company.

Eurograbber, however, is seen as the first time a Trojan virus transferred itself from a computer to a mobile phone and specifically targeted online banking.

Once it had infected both the phone and computer, verification codes sent by text to customers could be recorded and used to create a second banking session in real time. Money was then transferred out of the accounts.

Check Point said Android and Blackberry mobile devices were specifically targeted, showing that attacks against Android devices are a growing trend.

"As online and mobile banking continue to grow, we will see more targeted attacks in this area, and Eurograbber is a prime example," said Gabi Reish, head of product management at Check Point.

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