Computer Crime Research Center


Syria falls prey to banking cyber crime

Date: November 15, 2010

Syrians have been warned that the banking cybercrime malware Zeus Trojan is a threat to online users in Syria.
Since the first version of Zeus Trojan, the preferred choice of cybercriminals, has resulted in millions of dollars being plundered from domestic bank accounts worldwide by stealing online banking credentials, which were then used to access bank accounts belonging to the small business or municipalities and transfering it to fraudulent bank accounts.

Over 40,000 variants of the malware have been recorded. In February 2010, the US-based corporate security company NetWitness reported the detection of ZeuS-infected computers in 2,500 organizations in 196 countries.

The issue was raised in Syria’s 6th ICT Security Forum last month, with Tarek Kuzbari, Managing Director of Kaspersky Lab ME claiming the software was an emerging threat in the Syrian banking sector.
“This can prove very dangerous for unsuspected and unprotected Internet browsers as their online banking details and other vital information stored online can be compromised and used against them and at their expense by unscrupulous cyber criminals.”

The malware is a setback to the newly intoduced banking sector, who are beginning to roll out ebanking services, yet to gain the trust of Syrian customers.
According to Kaspersky, an up to date operating system, complemented with a security solution which includes an antivirus, antispyware, firewall and vulnerability scanner, is key in reducing the risks of cybercrime.

“Additionally, online banking users are advised to regularly check their bank account and notify the bank immediately in case of discrepancies. If money is stolen, the bank should be able to block the transfer and to return it to the rightful owner,” highlighted Tarek Kuzbari.

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