Australian banks targeted by Malware

March 29, 2014

Australian bank customers could be at risk as a new virus designed to steal banking information has begun spreading.

Australian customers have recently fallen victim to a slew of Malware attacks. Called Hesperbot, the trojan was first observed overseas in Turkey, which remains its most targeted area. The virus has subsequently been seen in Portugal and the U.K, as well as the Czech Republic.

The danger of a virus such as this spreading cannot be overstated, as highly sensitive information is potentially at risk. Securing systems and proactively studying threats has been a focus of banks and large enterprises for sometime, and this will need to continue with threats constantly growing.

Malware has a range of capabilities, including joining a computer to a botnet, capturing unwanted video and recording audio.

"As is the case with other botnets, the Hesperbot-infected-bot will establish a communication channel with its Command & Control server'" said Robert Lipovsky, a Malware Researcher with anti-virus firm ESET. 

Australian bank users are being targeted through fake banking applications available on smart phones – a growing trend thanks to the ease of use and quick availability of banking functions.

The trojan redirects mobile users to a fraudulent web form, which then leads to the virus being implanted on a device. Once a platform has been breached, it's essentially free reign for a hacker.

Mobile application security will need to become a priority for bank users, especially in regards to constant vigilance when using the devices for personal financing and viewing confidential information. With mobile device adoption continuing to expand, the risks are likely to grow in turn.

In addition to strengthening mobile systems, constant penetration testing should also be undertaken on enterprise networks to find potential weak points or network flaws.

By ignoring security, customers could find themselves open to data loss and potentially financial damage..

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