When Shawn Ballesty was informed by his landlord that his rental payment hadn’t come through he thought it was odd, but didn’t panic. Instead, he decided to transfer the money over again and then follow it up with the bank. Unfortunately, that money didn’t arrive safely either.
With the receipts given with the payments, the Commonwealth Bank was able to trace the transfers and Ballesty learned that his account had been hacked. The two deposits he had made to his landlord had in fact gone to a third party account.
Malicious software has been installed on Ballesty’s business computer without his knowledge – most likely from an infected email or a visit to an infected website.
Within just one week, Ballesty had lost $18,000 to the thieves and the problem was quickly spiralling out of control.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Australia is currently seeing a big problem with such malware – in particular a trojan called Carperb, which has affected more than 150,000 computers in the country. Once the malware is installed, a user will see a fake transaction page, which allows the attacker to see what the victim is typing.
The good news is that the banks, together with the help of corporations such as Microsoft, are coming up with more ways to fight cybercrime. Spam does still exist, but new systems are making it harder to get through, meaning you are less likely to open up a dodgy attachment that could infect your computer.
The punishment for those caught is also becoming harsher, helping to stamp out criminal activity.