UK users of Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC, Lloyds Bank and Santander are being targeted by cybercrooks slinging the Dyre banking trojan.
Around 19,000 malicious emails have been sent in three days from spam servers worldwide, inviting users to download an archive containing a malicious .exe file posing as personal financial information.
The file acts as a downloader which fetches and executes the Dyreza banker Trojan, also known as Dyre.
The malicious attachments sometimes pose as a follow-up email from a tax consultant, inviting users to download an attached archive that’s actually riddled with malicious code. Other emails spotted during the latest Dyre distribution campaign pose as financial documentation or, in other cases, fictitious penalty notices. The latter ruse seems geared towards hacking into enterprise computers.
Consumers in France, Germany, the US, Australia and Romania, as well as the UK, are in the firing line of the latest run of attacks, warns net security firm Bitdefender. In the US, clients of Bank of America, Citibank, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase and PayPal may have been exposed to theft. Germany has also been affected, with Deutsche Bank, Valovis Bank and volkswagenbank.de customers potentially having had credentials and money stolen from their accounts.
Dyre, first seen in 2014, has become a major agent in banking fraud. The malware has been linked to financial scams against enterprises, including Ryanair, as well as attacks on consumers.
“Dyre is very similar to the infamous Zeus,” explained Catalin Cosoi, chief security strategist at Bitdefender, “It installs itself on the user’s computer and becomes active only when the user enters credentials on a specific site, usually the login page of a banking institution or financial service.”
Bitdefender (which like other security firms detects and blocks the threat) reminds users to avoid clicking links in e-mails from unknown e-mail addresses and to keep their anti-malware solution up to date with the latest virus definitions.
The alert by the Romanian security firm follows a less specific recent warning late last month from Symantec about an upsurge in Dyre-based scams. ®
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