BugBear mauls financial institutions

BugBear, the first virus to target financial institutions specifically, had Australian banks on high alert this week after it was launched against 1200 banks worldwide in an attempt to steal corporate passwords.

Australia's largest banks were included in the 1200 Web addresses embedded in the virus code alongside some of the world's largest financial institutions including JP Morgan Chase, Citibank and American Express.

The destructive infection is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and led to a formal warning being issued by the US government to financial institutions across the globe.

Network Associates placed the mass-mailing virus, which allows keystrokes from the infected user's keyboard to be captured and allows hackers to gain remote access, at high alert.

NA marketing director Allan Bell said the virus has infected a lot of systems locally and reports from large companies are "significant".

"We are very concerned as there are similar levels of infections here to the US and Europe; we have had a high number of local companies submit samples," Bell said.

He speculated the writer could be testing different techniques to penetrate the banking sector, adding that it is becoming increasingly complex to combat new viruses with the need for companies to combine intrusion detection technology with antivirus software.

The Australian Bankers' Association (ABA) said the impact to date has been minimal as banks had been aware of the virus since January and had taken protective measures early.

"We're aware of the issue but it's not currently showing up as a material risk," an ABA spokeswoman said.

However, a Westpac spokeswoman confirmed the bank had been contacted by customers infected by the virus and a warning had been issued to customers.

The virus, which is a blended threat because it contains a number of dangerous elements, contains a number of subject lines including 'bad news', 'click on this', 'free gift' and 'call for information'.

It disables antivirus software opening the door to other infections and is polymorphic, which means it has the ability to change itself on each infection, making it harder to detect.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sandra Rossi

Computerworld
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?