I have repaired many computers that were infected with various "malware" problems. (Malware is an acronym for "malevolent software”). Many of the computers I fixed had anti-virus programs installed, but those programs had not been updated recently. An out-of-date program is as useless as no protection at all: the computer is not protected against the latest attacks. And new attacks appear every week.
Last week, researchers at M86 Security said they had discovered e-mails messages claiming to originate from Royal Mail with PDF attachments exploiting a flaw. The attachment attempts to run an executable file that installs the Zeus Trojan on a user's system. Zeus attempts to steal banking information by logging a user's keystrokes. Zeus 1.6 can infect people using Firefox and Internet Explorer web browsers.
Adobe Systems has not yet released an update for the company's PDF software to fix the problem.
The Zeus malware steals login information by recording keystrokes when the infected user is on a list of target websites. These websites are usually banks and other financial institutions. The user's log-in data is then sent to a remote server to be used by cyber-criminals.
According to The PC Security web site at http://thepcsecurity.com/latest-security-software-cannot-detect-zeus-virus/:
Zeus is a financial malware. It infects consumer PCs, waits for them to log onto a list of targeted banks and financial institutions, and then steals their credentials and sends them to a remote server in real time. Additionally, it may inject HTML into the pages rendered by the browser, so that its own content is displayed together (or instead of) the genuine pages from the bank’s web server. Thus, it is able to ask the user to divulge more personal information, such as payment card number and PIN, one time passwords and TANs, etc.The same web site also points out that even having the latest anti-virus software installed will not help much:
Zeus Virus is understood to be the biggest culprit among the family of malware targeting the financial websites and institutions. According to some of the studies, as much as 44% of all financial malware are based upon Zeus.
Despite such an alarming state, it is shocking to know that most of the latest security software, even if they are updated to the latest version, are incapable of finding and removing Zeus Malware infections.
Out of the computers in which Zeus was detected, 55% computers were having up-to-date antivirus, 14% were having antivirus installed but it was not up-to-date, while 31% were not having antivirus installed onto them.
At this time, the Zeus malware appears to only infect Internet Explorer or Firefox web browsers on the Windows operating system. Switching to Google’s high-security Chrome browser would appear to isolate the user from Zeus infections; if you use Windows XP, Vista, or 7, you can download Chrome at http://www.google.com/chrome. Switching to a different operating system also would avoid the latest problems, but switching operating systems is not an easy or simple change.
You can find hundreds of online stories about the Zeus malware if you start at http://www.google.com/search?source=ig&hl=en&rlz=&=&q=zeus+malware&aq=f&aqi=g4g-z1g5&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=