Federal and state authorities have reportedly charged over 60 people in connection with a global cybercrime scheme using the Zeus Trojan to steal millions of dollars from U.S. bank accounts. Trusteer, a secure browsing service, which claims to be in use by over 12 million online banking customers and protects over 70 banks, shared some commentary on the news with WebProNews. The company says it has deep visibility into criminal activity and the Zeus trojan.
"The recent arrests in the US and the UK indicate that financial fraud is not the business of individuals," says Trusteer CEO Mickey Boodaei. "Behind these operations you can find groups of people which in many cases operate for larger organized crime groups. They have the money and the means to run large scale sustainable criminal online operations. As time goes we’re seeing more groups which are larger than before, more efficient and knowledgeable than before, and as a result much more successful than before."
"However, recent successful arrests in the US and the UK show that law enforcement, with the help of the banks, their customers, and the industry, are capable of tracing these people down and get them behind bars," he adds. "More efforts are needed for this good start to become truly successful. Financial fraud can be stopped from spreading if financial organizations and customers continue to improve security and work with law enforcement to go after cyber criminals."
"These arrests show that some of the criminal groups behind Zeus are doing a poor job in covering their tracks," Boodaei continues. "The police did a great job in tracing down this group and gathering information that can facilitate their arrest. This is not a simple task and I’ve heard many people saying that this is almost impossible due to the level of sophistication from criminals and the complication of the justice system. However, this week’s crackdowns in the UK and now in the US, along with a few others that preceded them show that this can be achieved."
Trusteer and some other organizations have actually been involved in an initiative in which they were able to penetrate the criminals’ servers and gather a lot of evidence, Boodaei tells us. "This shows that criminals are vulnerable," he says.
"By running more operations like this and by the banks and other organizations investing effort in tracing fraudsters and not just blocking their activities, there is a good chance we can lower the volumes of attacks," says Boodaei. "Customers can take their banks’ advice and implement fraud prevention tools that provide valuable capabilities to banks in detecting and blocking these threats. By working together we can definitely stop this threat from growing."
According to PCWorld, the Zeus software is sold in black market forums and there are over a dozen Zeus gangs in operation around the world.