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Fraud Prevention

URLzone Trojan Horse Virus

September 14, 2009

In the past few months there has been media attention regarding a Trojan targeting the security and privacy of Internet-based transactions, including those performed by users on their financial institutions’ Internet banking websites. The latest banking Trojan is referred to as URLzone. In addition to stealing user credentials from infected machines, it also performs transactions to steal money from the users’ bank account. The Trojan was crafted to include several sophisticated features that help attackers avoid detection from anti-fraud systems. To date there have been no reports of the URLzone Trojan targeting any financial institutions in Canada, but that does not mean that attacks may not be initiated in the future.

The following tips will help you ensure online privacy and virus protection on your computer.

  • Avoid posting personal information on publicly accessible Web sites and on-line bulletin boards. (e.g. facebook, Twitter)
  • Use strong passwords and avoid words that are easy to guess. A combination of letters and numbers makes it difficult for a thief to guess the correct code. Don’t use the same password for different sites and don’t store passwords in your computer.
  • Be wary of on-line offers from Web sites you don’t know and trust.
  • You may have come across offers from companies, sometimes advertised as Internet connection speed accelerators that say they can speed up your connection. Credit union members are advised against using this type of service due to potential security concerns. The companies may be culling, compiling and selling your data to retailers and market researchers. The service provider could potentially access your usernames and passwords and other confidential information.
  • Keep your operating software up to date – use Microsoft’s automatic update feature – the second Tuesday of each month is when Microsoft releases it updates. The same automatic update can be turned on for Mac (Apple) computers as well. Macs are also susceptible to attacks.
  • Keep your browser software up to date – regardless of the browser one uses (i.e. Explorer, Chrome, Safari, Firefox) check for updates weekly or turn on the automatic update feature of the browser.
  • Use a firewall – turn on the firewall feature offered by Microsoft operating systems such as XP, Vista, or install a router, or buy firewall software
  • Use and keep up to date security software (anti-virus, phishing, privacy, spyware) from proven reliable security vendors such as Symantec, AVG, F-Secure, Kaspersky, Network Associates (MacAfee), and Panda. Most Internet service provides (Shaw, TELUS, Clearwave) provide free anti-virus software when you sign up to use their systems.
  • Don’t open or view e-mail from people you do not know – hold the shift key when pressing the delete key which will permanently delete such e-mails.
  • Type in the address of the financial institution you are doing electronic banking with – never use a link that has been supplied by someone else.
  • If the web site looks funny or different from the usual assume the worst and phone the financial institution.
  • If you suspect your personal computer is comprised do not use for it electronic commerce until you have addressed your concerns.
     


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