Experts at SophosLabs™, Sophos's global network of virus, spyware and spam analysis centers, have warned of an attempt by hackers to probe the defenses of internet bankers by exploiting flaws in Internet Explorer and Firefox.
The emails, entitled "National Bank Closing and Blocking Accounts without a notice!", claim that bank accounts are being closed without warning. Users are directed to click on a web link to read more information, and discover how to file a report if they have suffered from the same problem.
The hackers are believed to have been targeting customers of the National Australia Bank (NAB), but there are banks with similar names in other countries whose users may feel tempted into clicking on the link.
The emails claim that bank accounts are being closed without warning.
Part of the email reads as follows:
Recently many accounts have been reported closed without even a notice from the bank officials! Mostly it's business accounts but regular checkings are also in trouble.
Latest Bank's Report showed much lower profit than expected and their stocks hit lows for the last 5 years! But can it be really a reason for breaking relations with entrepreneurs?
However, users who click on the link risk being infected by the Troj/JSDl-A Trojan horse, which collects information about which internet browser the user is running, and the level of their security patching. The Trojan horse can attempt to exploit vulnerabilities in both Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox.
"It is possible that this is a probe by hackers wishing to locate vulnerable computers prior to a concerted attack against users of internet banking," continued Cluley.
Sophos's products have been automatically updated to protect against the Troj/JSDl-A Trojan horse and the spammed email messages.
Sophos continues to recommend companies protect their desktops and servers with automatically updated protection against viruses, spyware, and spam. Furthermore, businesses should ensure that all of their computers are defended with the latest security patches to protect against vulnerability exploits often used by hackers.
Sophos is headquartered in Boston, US and Oxford, UK. More information is available at www.sophos.com.