Experts warns of Banker Trojan peril

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Primary threat to online shoppers this Christmas.

Banker Trojans designed to steal passwords for online banking services are one of the primary threats online shoppers will face this holiday season, a security firm has warned.

Panda Security said that such Trojans accounted for 18.59 per cent of malware infections in 2007.

Banker Trojans work in various ways, from capturing keystrokes to redirecting users to fake banking sites. Such malicious code is increasingly being used in online gaming and instant messaging applications.

"The number of online transactions increases a great deal during the holiday season and cyber-crooks are becoming more creative and vicious in their attempts to steal personal information," said Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs.

"We want to make sure that consumers are aware of the risks and are educated on what should and should not be done when shopping online.

"When consumers are alert and have taken adequate security measures to safeguard their personal information, shopping online can be a safe and pleasurable experience."

Panda Security offers the following tips to educate and protect consumers from dangerous risks:

  • Make sure there are no active viruses on your PC before shopping or banking online
  • Ignore spam messages or those that claim to come from financial entities requesting confidential data
  • Investigate an online seller's reputation before purchasing anything
  • Keep operating system and applications up-to-date
  • Do not run files or click on links from suspicious sources
  • Never pay for anything online unless you completely trust the seller
  • Do not send confidential data over email, IM, chat or similar channels
Panda Security: Practical Tips for a Safe Christmas (PDF)

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