A phishing attack aimed at small businesses accounted for as much as a third of all global junk email–or more than a quarter of all e-mail–for a 15-minute period Friday, showing that the Zeus family of keystroke-logging software remains a force to be reckoned with despite a recent spate of arrests.
The attack took the form of e-mails that had subject headings beginning “Your Federal Tax Payment” and said an electronic transfer had been rejected because of an invalid corporate identification number. Following a recent trend in such scams, the e-mails contain links to a genuine web page, in this case a US site that collects tax payment information including bank account numbers. Read more
Ukraine authorities said on Tuesday that the 20 suspects, including 5 key targets they detained as part of a global crackdown on crime rings using the Zeus malware to steal from online bank accounts, brought a total of $40m into the country.
At a press conference covered by the FT’s Mark Rachkevych, officials from the Ukraine’s SBU confirmed that the alleged kingpins had been released, but said the five could expect to be charged this week.
Potentially among them are money laundering, interfering with computer transmissions, and distributing malicious programs. Prison terms for conviction on the second or third of those start at two years, while money laundering can fetch as many as 15. Read more