UK internet users are being warned to take guard against a virulent strain of banking malware that has succeeded in siphoning £20 million from individual bank accounts.
The alert from the UK's national Crime Agency centres on Dridex malware, also known as Bugat and Cridex, which has been developed by technically skilled cyber criminals in Eastern Europe to harvest online banking details. The Agency is encouraging all internet users to ensure they have up to date operating systems and anti-virus software installed on their machines, to protect themselves from further cyber crime attacks.
Computers become infected with Dridex malware when users receive and open documents in seemingly legitimate emails. The NCA assesses there could be thousands of infected computers in the UK, the majority being Windows users.
Users are urged to visit the CyberStreetWise and GetSafeOnline websites where a number of anti-virus tools are available to download to help clean up infected machines and get advice and guidance on how to protect themselves in the future.
The NCA says it is co-ordinating with the FBI, GCHQ, the BKA in Germany and the Moldovan authorities, in attempts to ‘sinkhole’ the malware, stopping infected computers from communicating with the cyber criminals controlling them. It says a number of arrests have already been made.
Mike Hulett, head of operations at the National Crime Agency’s National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU) says: “This is a particularly virulent form of malware and we have been working with our international law enforcement partners, as well as key partners from industry, to mitigate the damage it causes. Our investigation is ongoing and we expect further arrests to made."