Zeus is a 6-year old virus with the ability to drain bank accounts. The virus is a special type of Trojan horse that works by remaining idle on your computer until you log into your bank account. Once you’ve logged in, it steals your password and drains your account. It can even replace your bank’s website with its own page to steal more information, like your social security number which can be sold on the black market.
Zeus has infected millions of computers already; it mainly targets Windows because it doesn’t work on Linux or Mac OS X. It’s hosted on computers that are controlled by a Russian criminal gang—the same gang that’s been linked to a variety of online crimes, such as malware and identity theft. Unfortunately, the virus is becoming more prolific.
Nicole Perlroth, of The New York Times, reports that the virus has been thriving on Facebook, and is being spread through phishing messages. When an account has been phished, it will automatically send messages or links to a large variety of friends on the account. Typically, these messages or links are ads for videos or products.
Eric Feinberg, founder of the advocacy group Fans Against Kounterfeit Enterprise (FAKE) says that while Facebook is aware of the problem, they aren’t taking the matter as seriously as they should be.
The take-home message is: Click links that only come from trusted sources. This is the only way to protect you from Zeus.
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