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Hackers steal €36m from European banks using computer virus

The virus infected both computer and smartphones in order to monitor and manipulate online banking sessions.

Image: LianeM via Shutterstock

HACKERS USING A Trojan computer virus successfully stole an estimated €36 million from more than 30,000 bank customers at multiple banks across Europe according to a report published yesterday.

The report by security vendors Versafe and Check Point Software Technologies found that a group of cyber criminals pocketed around €36 million before the operation was dismantled by the European law enforcement.

The attacks began in Italy and soon after tens of thousands of affected online bank customers were detected in Germany, Spain and Holland.

These customers had no idea they were infected with Trojan viruses, that their online banking sessions were being compromised or that funds were being stolen directly out of their accounts.

The ‘Eurograbber’ attack, as it has been named, employs a new variation of the Zeus-In-The-Mobile Trojan which has only been detected in eurozone countries to date.

It infects both computers and mobile devices of online banking customers and once the virus was installed on both devices, the customer’s online banking sessions were completely monitored and manipulated by the attackers.

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The virus used was developed for both the Blackberry and Android platforms in order to facilitate a wide target market.

Victim banks have been notified of the attack and Versafe said they were actively working with law enforcement agencies to halt any current or future attacks.

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