Cyber Attacks Increase as we Approach Holiday Period

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Hackers are using the Zeus Panda malware to steal data undetected.

The Christmas period is coming and as such people are in a happy mood as they celebrate with their families. This is the season when people tend to go overboard with their shopping as they try to impress their friends, family and loved ones. With the new and modern world, many people will likely use their credit and debit cards to make the transactions as it is easier and it ensures that you don’t have to carry much cash on you.

However, with every good thing comes a bad thing to counter it. Cyber attackers are believed to be targeting the credit card data from the British shopping lists as the Christmas period goes into overdrive. The hackers are believed to be using the infamous Zeus Panda Trojan to take people’s sensitive information from company’s servers. In most of the cases, the hackers are believed to be using the malware variants of the banking Trojan, Zeus, which they are injecting onto some particularly targeted banking accounts which they know will reveal credit card and banking credentials of the customers.

Security researchers who have been following up on the reported attacks have also started reporting that the hackers have now started targeting online payment sites, retailers sites, online casinos and much more as they look into branching their attacks. The cyber attackers are now injecting their malware onto various sites so as to increase their chances of stealing something.

Security researchers based at the security firm, Proofpoint, said that based on their investigation of the data they had, the cyber attackers had been prevalent especially targeting the big holidays such as Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday and Black Friday, definite dates which customers are bound to buy something from online retailers. It is also believed that the hackers injected the Zeus malware onto popular sites such as the Zara site, some online streaming sites and even some traveling sites.

These are definite sites to include customer data such as credit card information. The malware injected was designed to steal the data of the customers such as the victims’ address, the phone numbers, the date of birth and credit card information. The other information taken would include the social security number and some security questions such as the mother’s maiden name, or a childhood nickname.

Proofpoint stated that the first attack which they uncovered back in November seemed to be targeting Canadian firms, but recent attacks have been seen in the UK. The security firm also warned that most victims of the Zeus Panda malware would have no knowledge because of the working structure of the malware.

As a result, Proofpoint urged companies and customers to use VPNs when using sensitive information so as to be not attacked and hacked. In their blog post, the researchers said that the timing of the attacks all indicated that the hackers were targeting the holiday season. It also goes on to say that use of  VPNs could help with detection of Trojans.


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