Virus Helps Violate 500K Bank, Credit Accounts

Infects computers through 'drive-by downloads"
By Laila Weir,  Newser User
Posted Oct 31, 2008 4:35 PM CDT
An ASUS G71 laptop.   (PRNewsFoto/NVIDIA)
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(Newser) – A computer virus has stolen log-in information for over 500,000 bank accounts and credit and debit cards. The Sinowal Trojan virus has infected computers around the world through “drive-by downloads” that install it without users' knowledge when they visit Web sites running the virus code. Individuals can best protect themselves by being cautious about what sites they visit, the BBC reports.

An online security company first detected the Trojan in early 2006. “It has existed for two and a half years quietly collecting information," said a company representative. "It costs a lot to maintain and to store the information it is gathering. The group behind it have made sure to invest in the infrastructure no doubt because the return and the potential return is so great."