23rd October 2015
By Lyndsey Hall
A gang of cyber criminals from Eastern Europe is believed to be behind a virus that is responsible for stealing £20million from UK bank accounts. According to the National Crime Agency (NCA), thousands of computers in the UK have been infected by the malware already.
The virus, known as Dridex, Bugat or Cridex, was designed to target financial institutions and payment systems around the world. It is delivered in the usual way; via a legitimate-looking email with an attachment that, when opened, allows the software to harvest the user’ online banking details from the device.
At least one “significant arrest” has been made already. Mike Hulett from the NCA says that they are working with their international law enforcement partners, including the FBI, as well as key partners from industry, and they expect further arrests to be made. The gang behind the virus call themselves Evil Corp, and are part of a “vast European criminal network”, according to Thomas Fox-Brewster, a digital security specialist for Forbes. It is believed that the virus has earned the gang over $50 million so far, however, five of the suspected members have now been publicly named, including Andrey Ghinkul, the 30 year old Moldovan who was arrested in Cyprus in August, and is alleged to be the administrator of the virus.
According to internet security expert Graham Cluley, the malware currently targets Microsoft Windows operating systems, so if you use another operating system you don’t need to worry at the moment, but stay vigilant as cyber criminals are coming up with new ways to hack their victims all the time.
If you think your computer may have been affected, don’t enable any Macros in programs such as Microsoft Word or Excel, as this is how the virus takes control of your computer; and use another device to change all of your passwords. If you think you may have been the victim of fraud, contact Action Fraud and your bank straight away.
According to the British Crime Survey, the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, which is part of the City of London Police, helps to disrupt 4,000 fraudulent websites, bank accounts and phone lines every month; preventing £369 million of fraud last year alone.
Today, TalkTalk is the latest company to have their website hacked and thousands of customers’ details, not all of which were encrypted, have potentially been exposed. A Russian Islamist group has apparently claimed responsibility for the cyber-attack, posting data online which appears to be customers’ private details, but the claim is yet to be verified.
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