Justice Served: Police Make Arrests Over Zeus Banking Malware
British police have made the first arrest of a man and a woman who were found to be using the Zeus trojan parasite to steal banking information.
The 20 year old man and woman arrested in Manchester, England the beginning of this month, face charges under the 1990 Computer Misuse Act and the 2006 Fraud Act. Both of the cybercriminals had configured Zeus to steal online bank account credentials and send the compromised data to remote servers.
The British police were able to discover that the two perpetrators used the computer infection Zeus to "harvest millions of lines of data from affected machines -- hundreds of thousands per day." With numbers like this, victims could end up in losses of thousands of dollars if not millions from their online banking accounts.
Zeus, or also known as the Zbot Trojan, has been a serious issue for banking institutions and their customers for some time now. Zeus was originally created for the purpose of stealing banking account information such as passwords and logins so criminals do not have to do much work on their end other than purchase Zeus, which is sold as a toolkit. The "toolkit" can create a unique Zeus variant depending on what the cybercriminal's ultimate objective is. The creators of Zeus designed it in such a way that is easy for less tech-savvy criminals to use it for their benefit.
Could we see more arrest made for those using Zeus for online banking crimes?
Lately Zeus, or Zbot Trojan, has ramped up to flood email in-boxes with malware. This could be proof that there are several other cybercriminals on the loose who are not going to stop at anything until they are caught.
The two persons arrested in this recent event are the first to be caught for using Zeus. If the judicial system is hard enough on these cybercriminals, then it could send a strong message to future criminals. In our battle to combat such crimes this is only a small step in the right direction. We can only hope that other criminals using malware to do their dirty work are caught before the number of victims mount.