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"Man in the Browser" Technique Gets More Popular for Stealing Personal Banking Details

  • 22 November, 2007 09:53

<p>F-Secure warns computer users of an upsurge in attacks against banking sites, targeting personal user data. These attacks use a new generation of malicious codes, in a technique called "Man in the Browser".</p>
<p>Historically, cyber criminals have always sought ways of stealing the personal and banking data of web users. The techniques used by these criminals have become more sophisticated, in order to adapt in turn to the growing sophistication of the security solutions. It started with software that was capable of retrieving the data typed into the computer keyboard ("keyloggers"), and then more complex mechanisms arrived on the scene, such as phishing and pharming.</p>
<p>Phishing uses emails that the sender disguises to look as if they come from a financial establishment. When the web user clicks on the link contained in the mail, he finds himself on a bogus site that imitates that of his bank, and which retrieves his personal banking data.</p>
<p>Pharming consists in automatically redirecting the web user to a false site (imitating the site of his bank) when the user wishes to visit the real site, but without the user having to click on a link of any kind, since the usurping of the address takes place at Internet level.</p>
<p>The "Man in the Middle" technique consists in the cyber criminal pretending to be the bank's site, intercepting the data passed by the user, and then using that data to access the real bank site to gain access to the account.</p>
<p>The latest technique used for these attacks is known as "Man in the Browser". Once the PC has been infected, the malicious code is only triggered when the web user visits his online bank site. This type of malware is capable of retrieving the information (login and password) that is entered by the web user on the real web page of the bank site by intercepting the HTML code on his web browser.</p>
<p>This personal data is then sent directly to an FTP site where the cyber criminal stores it, before selling it on to the highest bidder on other web sites used by cyber-criminals.</p>
<p>Security products using behavioural analysis are the best solution against such attacks, as the malicious codes are designed specifically for certain banking sites. They are not distributed en masse, unlike attacks using phishing, for example. This restricted distribution constitutes a real challenge for security software publishers when it comes to referencing these viruses and using signature recognition.</p>
<p>"With the enhancements that banks have deployed in terms of authentication security on their online banking sites, phishing attacks are becoming less and less effective, and attacks of the 'Man in the Browser' type are set to increase," says Mikko Hypponen, the Chief Research Officer at F-Secure.</p>
<p>F-Secure security solutions feature behavioral analysis, the dedicated F-Secure Deepguard engine being an example of this.</p>
<p>For further information about F-Secure solutions, please go to:
www.f-secure.com</p>
<p>About F-Secure Corporation</p>
<p>F-Secure Corporation protects consumers and businesses against computer
viruses and other threats from the Internet and mobile networks. F-Secure's
award-winning solutions are available as a service subscription through more
than 150 Internet service providers and mobile operator partners around the
world, making F-Secure the global leader in this market. The solutions are
also available as licensed products through thousands of resellers globally.
F-Secure has received the Frost &amp; Sullivan 2007 award for Distribution
Strategy Leadership. The company aspires to be the most reliable security
provider, helping make computer and smartphone user's networked lives safe
and easy. This is substantiated by the company's independently proven ability
to respond faster to new threats than its main competitors. Founded in 1988
and headquartered in Finland, F-Secure has been listed on the OMX Nordic
Exchange Helsinki since 1999. The company has consistently been one of the
fastest growing publicly listed companies in the industry. The latest news on
real-time virus threat scenarios is available at the F-Secure Data Security
Lab weblog at http://www.f-secure.com/weblog/.</p>

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