Online Payment Services New Target of ZeuS Malware

Bob Styran, IT audit expert
January 21, 2011 /

Security specialist Trusteer has warned subscribers of online payment services about the new tactic that malware ZeuS has taken to launch attacks to online payment websites containing credentials of the financial value of the user.

The malware has been used by cyber mobsters in inserting HTML code into the web browser software of the user’s online banking account. After successful insertion of the code, the hacker then funnels amounts from the account to another one the cyber criminal has complete access to.

According to Trusteer CTO Amit Klein, the online payment hacking reflects the cyber attacks employed by these hackers in between 1980s and 1990s, from targeting online banking transactions for cash advances to semi-cash platforms until the discovery of retail and etail sales outlet. Klein said the difference between the attacks launched before against online payment services and the ones employed at present lies in the “attack vectors” aimed at certain sites as identified by his researchers.

Trusteer researchers found that Moneybookers and Web Money are a few of the online payment services being targeted by ZeuS.

About 13 different ZeuS configurations are targeting Web Money. The latest reported attack against this website was on January 16, suggesting that the online payment service site is among the newest targets of ZeuS.

Trusteer also identified Nochex as one of the recent targets, having been attacked by 12 ZeuS configurations. Klein said these attacks against online payment services are likely to go on as long as many retailers prefer this mode of payment.

Klein advised users to use highly secured browser and solutions software to protect their online transactions, and avoid using computers accessible to anybody. Online payment services provider will also need to evaluate the risks facing endpoint devices of their users, he said.


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