Increasingly sophisticated Trojans threaten businesses

Experts now believe that the majority of the world’s biggest businesses are infected by malicious Trojan software, which means that private data is harvested almost constantly.

Data security expert Uri Rivner warned against complacency, saying that every firm in every sector is a potential target for Trojan infection. He also said that hackers were modifying Trojans to have greater potency than in the past and that financial institutions are just one of many types of business that are under threat in the modern environment.

Speaking in San Francisco at the 2010 RSA Conference, Mr Rivner revealed that the vast majority of the firms listed in the Fortune 500 were subject to Trojan attacks, with data mined continually and extracted to the master servers operated by the hackers.

The Zeus Trojan is still forming the building blocks of the most dangerous Trojan types and its popularity is continuing to rise as its capabilities to destroy businesses are proved time and again.

Employee data is frequently targeted using Zeus according to Mr Rivner, although this is not exclusively limited to the type of industrial information that may initially have been assumed. Everything that a worker enters into an infected machine is logged and sent to a remote location, including passwords for social networking and even online dating services.

Mr Rivner warned that even extremely personal details, such as the blood type of the affected employee, could be compromised by a Trojan infection. Building a picture of a person and then using those details to create duplicate identities is something of which criminals are readily capable, within even the most trusted of firms.

The silver lining in this instance is that Mr Rivner believes that criminals are not as yet able to turn private information to widespread financial gain, which means that businesses still have time to protect themselves against the most common threats.

Security experts believe that creating multiple fail-safe procedures to protect sensitive data, or switching to a solution which ensures that data is properly protected at all times, will help to combat Trojans.

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