Infections in Australia from the Hesperbot trojan have doubled over the past two weeks, according to security firm ESET.
The trojan lures online banking customers with phishing emails that appear to have been sent from a ‘trustworthy’ source.
The malware first started hitting Australia in November 2013 but the number of infections remained relatively insignificant - until the last few months.
“The Hesperbot botnet targets some of the leading Australian banks. Our researchers detected an increase in Hesperbot activity targeting Australia around late February to early March 2014, with incidents roughly doubling in comparison to the average number of detections from the previous weeks," said Sieng Chye Oh, a malware researcher at ESET.
Hesperbot affects Windows-PCs but also attempts to infect mobile devices running Android, Symbian and BlackBerry. It captures keystrokes, screenshots as well as video capture, in an attempt to steal access to online banking services.
Robert Lipovsky, another ESET malware researcher said Hesperbot is an evolution of previous banking trojans.
“Analysis of the threat revealed that we were dealing with a banking Trojan, with similar functionality and identical goals to the infamous Zeus and SpyEye, but significant implementation differences indicated that this is a new malware family, not a variant of a previously known Trojan," he said.