Wednesday, August 10, 2005

ID theft ring hits 50 banks

#161 A major identity theft ring has been discovered that affects up to 50 banks, according to Sunbelt Software, the security company that says it uncovered the operation. The operation, which is being investigated by the FBI, is gathering personal data from "thousands of machines" using keystroke-logging software. The data collected includes credit card details, Social Security numbers, usernames, passwords, instant-messaging chat sessions and search terms. Some of that data is then saved in a file hosted on a U.S.-based server that has an offshore-registered domain.

The data theft is carried out by a Trojan horse downloaded at the same time as CoolWebSearch and a mail zombie, Sunbelt said. Patrick Jordan, a Sunbelt employee, discovered the identity theft ring while researching a variant of CWS, which is a malicious program that hijacks Web searches and disables security settings in Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser.
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