With the recent release of Mac’s Snow Leopard and the upcoming Windows 7, it’s only natural that hackers gave their viruses an upgrade as well. According to security company RSA, the Zeus trojan virus now employs the use of instant messaging. After the Zeus trojan has gotten a hold of someone’s account, a hacker will automatically receive an instant message notifying him that that his hack was successful.
Once installed on a PC, the Zeus virus sends the hacker the user’s log-in information and passwords. Then a module, that can be applied to the virus, can search for information specifically concerning financial institutions. A security company called Damballa estimates that the number of PCs that have been infected with the virus are currently at around 3.6 million, making the Zeus Trojan one of the most aggressive invasive malware viruses around.
“The ease-of-use of the Zeus crimeware toolkit for individuals to create their own tailored Trojan botnets has meant that it has become a favored toolkit for entry-level criminals to get involved in the underground economy,” according to Peter Coogan of Symantec, writing on one of the company’s blogs. “The greater availability of this toolkit on underground forums as of late has also led to an increase in its usage.”
PC users are at risk to the virus if they do not install the latest security updates and visit a website designed to hunt for weak spots in a software’s defense. The virus can also be installed onto a computer by opening an email embedded with the virus. In this technological generation protecting your computer is almost as important as protecting your house. Keeping up to date with security software allows for some of the necessary protection. IT administrators should also keep tabs on the ZeuS Tracker which is constantly being updated with the latest IPs being used by ZeuS hosts this way they can block them and help protect their network.