US Banking on Alert for the “Hacker-in-Law”

  • Comments: 0
  • Written on: December 18th, 2012

There is a black-hat cyber hacker threatening widespread bank account theft against US victims on a level never before achieved and there are some things you need to do to make sure your computer (and you bank account) stay out of what could be a record-setting cyber-heist.

A Russian hacker using an online handle that roughly translates to “Thief-in-Law” intends to steal a whole lot more than the silverware your Aunt Betty tried to steal after dinner last Christmas.

New Private Malware Testing

This hacker has developed his own malware and has successfully conducted several “trial-runs” infecting more than 500 computers with minimal effort.  The latest trial concluded at the end of November 2012.

Thief-in-Law publicly claims that he is in Russia, that no one in the US can touch him and that he is going to steal millions of dollars from US banks sometime between now and the spring.

Banks have been alerted by Anti-Virus giant McAfee has issues warnings to banks and provided new signature files that they claim can detect the viruses malware.

Confusion About Attack Target

While McAfee is providing definitions to protect banks, Thief-in-Law is infecting individual peoples computers with malware.

My best educated guess is that the Russian hacker is infecting individual machines looking for online banking passwords.  His software reportedly can even answer your challenge question if it knows the answer.  To get that information he needs access to your personal computer.

With that information the hacker may be planning on using a list of established account numbers with verified balances.  With this list he knows who to target when (or if) he successfully breeches bank security.

What you Can Do to Protect Yourself

There are some specific steps you can take to protect yourself, your computer, and your bank account from this attack.

  1. Update your Antivirus – If you are not running Norton 360, I strongly recommend you obtain a copy as soon as possible.
  2. Download all Required and Recommended Windows Updates – Many people allow Windows to install automatic updates, but they never click on Start and then All Programs and select Windows Update to see the recommended updates.  Some of these are just as important and they should be installed.
  3. Install Secure Updater from – Secure Updater is free for the first 14 days.  That gets you through the Holiday season with one less thing to worry about.  This program updates all of the third party applications on your computer that cyber criminals exploit to gain access to your data.
  4. Change your online banking password and challenge question – Of course it is recommended you do this often, but if you haven’t rotated your online banking passwords, challenge questions, and challenge images, this is a great reason to do so.

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