Cybercriminals Planning Large-Scale Banking Attack for Spring 2013. Learn How to Protect Yourself!

On Thursday, the McAfee security firm issued a report detailing a massive attack on 30 United States’ banks planned for sometime during spring 2013. The report was verified by RSA, the computer and network security division of the EMC corporation.

According to RSA, cybercriminals have created a Trojan capable of filtering money out of Chase, Citibank, Wells Fargo, and PayPal accounts as well as accounts from other various banks. The plan’s name is “Project Blitzkrieg” and it’s already been tested on at least 300 guinea pig bank accounts.

The project initially began with a recruiting campaign where cybercriminals were promised a portion of the stolen money in return for their services.

Those recruited in the campaign were told to infect computers with a special type of malware, clone the computers, and use stolen usernames and passwords to transfer money out of accounts. With cloning, it appears as if the criminals are regular users, allowing them to bypass security questions.

Speaking to CNNMoney, cybersecurity specialist Bill Wansley said that the financial industry receives thousands of attacks on its infrastructure and networks every day. Wansley also said that he has never examined a financial industry network that didn’t have some type of malware.

How can you protect yourself?

With banks constantly facing cybersecurity issues, how can you best ensure your money stays safe?

1) Anti-Virus Software

Though it can sometimes be a hassle, anti-virus software is one of the easiest ways to protect your private information. Anti-virus software can squash keyloggers— cybercriminals using trojans that record everything you type and click, including passwords. Scanning your computer at least once a month with anti-virus software is a great practice and once a week is even better.

2) Beware of phishing

Phishing often comes in the form of an email that looks like it’s from a bank or other reputable business. If done well, phishing emails are incredibly convincing and if you don’t stop to look closely, it’s easy to get fooled. Know that legitimate emails will never ask you for passwords or other personal information. If an email does request such information, it’s your cue to send it to the spam folder.

3) Use different passwords

Like many people, it’s likely that you have about a million different online accounts all requiring usernames and passwords. Employing the same password over and over again makes them easy to remember, but it’s also incredibly dangerous. If someone hacks into one of your accounts and grabs a password that’s universal, suddenly everything is compromised. Use a different password for every account and if you need to, get special software to help you keep track of them all.

4) Change passwords often

Like using different passwords, changing passwords regularly also helps keep information secure. This is the first thing to do if there’s even a hint of suspicious activity with any of your accounts.

Source: CNNMoney