BBC’s Click programme recently undertook an investigation into financial malware – viruses that concentrate on grabbing your bank details and adding in transactions to steal money. Viruses such as “Zeus“.
These infections lurk on your computer to intercept attempts to access your bank, and will insert elements into a web page to grab additional details that can be used at a later date to access your bank account. And many of the most popular anti-virus products are unable to spot these infections!
The key advice from the banks were :-
- If a transaction takes a lot longer than usual, it may be that the details are going via the fraudster’s servers.
- If you are asked for more information than usual – perhaps the entire password where you are normally asked for certain specified letters from within it – then the malware may be inserting questions into what appears to be the bank’s web page.
- If you do suspect something and need to contact your bank, use the phone and not email.
Normally UK banks will refund money lost to fraudsters in this way, but that will not compensate you for the shock that someone has been riffling through your bank account. Ideally you will want to avoid using an infected PC to begin with, which is easier said than done when the mainstream security products can fail to protect you!