By Zeus! Malware makes the headlines

Filed Under: Malware, Spam

A report on the BBC News website today reports that the "Zeus banking virus is back".

To which my response is, "did it ever leave?"

Zeus (also known as ZBot) is a family of malware that is capable of hijacking your computer, making it part of a criminal botnet. Once you are infected, ZBot can steal information such as banking details, credentials for social networking sites and email/FTP accounts.

ZBot is often spread in the form of an infected email attachment, but it can also be caught by visiting booby-trapped websites using a web browser that isn't properly secured.

The Zbot family of malware is a problem that has been hitting computer users around the world - it is truly a global threat.

So I'm a wee bit baffled as to why it's made the BBC's news headlines today (it was even being talked about on the radio when I drove to work this morning).

As far as Sophos is concerned, it's business as usual for Zeus/Zbot. We havem't noticed any change in either the executables or the web downloaders or the cross-browser exploits that have been in use several large botnets created by ZBot for ages.

Nevertheless, I guess anything which helps raise the awareness of the great unwashed public of computer security threats should be considered a good thing.

Let's just hope that people twig that it's important to run up-to-date anti-virus software, and keep your browsers and computers up-to-date with security patches every day of the year, not just when it makes the headlines.

* Image source: Ocularinvasion's Flickr photostream (Creative Commons)

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.