Police in Estonia have detained a 24-year-old man suspected of stealing cash from online accounts in several European countries using a Trojan horse program.
According to press reports the man was arrested after a year-long investigation by computer crime authorities across Europe into the alleged the theft of millions of euros from accounts in Britain, Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania and Spain.
He is accused of sending thousands of spam e-mails containing a link to a Web site that infected computers with a Trojan program, which recorded login details and passwords when customers visited legitimate banking Web sites.
Estonian police worked with IT specialists from Hansabank on the investigation, along with Latvian and Lithuanian police. If charged and found guilty, the man could face up to five years in prison.
According to anti-virus technology vendor Sophos there has been a sharp rise over the last year in the use of viruses, worms and Trojan horses designed to steal personal financial information
Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos, says: "Sophos's labs analyse approximately 15 new pieces of malware which include this sinister payload every day, compared to only five a day this time last year."