Hackers Outwit Security Systems


Thanks to “Man in the Browser”, even up-to-date anti-virus software combined with the latest generation of online banking security doesn’t protect those using online banking.

A test witnessed as part of a BBC Click investigation suggests even those with up-to-date anti-virus software could be at risk.

There is no specific risk to any one individual bank.

In the test the majority of web security software on standard settings did not spot that a previously unseen piece of malware created in the software testing lab was behaving suspiciously.

The threat does not strike until the user visits particular websites.

Called a Man in the Browser (MitB) attack, the malware lives in the web browser and can get between the user and the website, altering what is seen and changing details of what is being entered.

Some versions of the MitB will change payment details and amounts and also change on-screen balances to hide its activities.

With the additional security devices, the risk of fraud is only present for one transaction, and only if the customer falls for the “training exercise”.

“The man in the browser attack is a very focused, very specific, advanced threat, specifically focused against banking,” said Daniel Brett, of malware testing lab S21sec.

“[Although] many products won’t pick this up, they’ve got a much bigger scope, they’re having to defend against all the viruses since the beginning of time.”

Every time a new update to the malware is released, it takes the security companies a number of weeks to learn how to spot it – to learn its common features.

But one security company did privately concede that, if this threat had come from a source not known to be bad and started communicating with a web address also not on the black-list of “bad” sites – until they had discovered and analysed it – it probably would have beaten their protection.

The key in this cat-and-mouse game continues to be the user and how high they set want to set their security settings on anti-virus software.  But even then NOTHING is 100% secure when it comes to data.

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About brvanlanen

Just a thirty-something guy currently hanging it up in the greater Green Bay area. My post-high school educational background is mainly in the Information Technology field. Specifically I have an A.A.S. in Computer Network Systems and a B.S. in Information Systems Security, both from ITT Technical Institute, in addition to A and MCDST certifications. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family, cooking and sports. My Christian faith is also important to me as a Missouri-Synod Lutheran and all my children attend a Lutheran grade school. When it comes to political leanings I am a conservative first and foremost which you will discover rather quickly. As for sports I am a huge fan of the Green Bay Packers.

Posted on February 9, 2012, in attacks, Cybersecurity, Hacking, Internet, Security breach, vulnerability, Web and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Hackers Outwit Security Systems.

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