The Agency Insider with Linda McGlasson

On Zeus, ATM Fraud and Foreclosures

On Zeus, ATM Fraud and Foreclosures

Zeus Is Everywhere?
The latest report from RSA's FraudAction Anti-Trojan service shows Zeus, a popular Trojan used by hackers, is in most major U.S. corporations. Up to 88 percent of Fortune 500 companies may be affected by botnet activity from computers taken over by the data-stealing Trojan. The domains that represent the 88 percent were shown to have been accessed to some extent by Zeus. On the drop sites where the compromised computers deposit stolen data, email addresses were found from about 60 percent of the firms. The report has more bad news for smaller entities: Companies with fewer than 75,000 employees seem to have the highest amount of botnet activity and compromised email addresses. Zeus, or Zbot, is the most widely used Trojan that hackers have used to compromise small and medium business email accounts that are then used in ACH fraud schemes.

ATM Insider Pleads Guilty
The case of the Bank of America employee who was arrested for planting malicious software code that he wrote on the bank's ATM networks has an end. Rodney Reed Caverly pleaded guilty on April 13 to putting software on more than 100 ATMs. The code instructed the ATMs to dispense cash without recording the transaction. With this in place on the bank's ATMs, Caverly was able to steal more than $300,000 over a seven-month period in 2009.

Up to 88 percent of Fortune 500 companies may be affected by botnet activity from computers taken over by the data-stealing Trojan, Zeus. 

Law enforcement officials say they recovered a little more than half of the money after Caverly told them where they could find it. Caverly is free on a $25,000 personal bond. He faces up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and a supervised release term after imprisonment of up to three years. By law, Caverly also will be required to pay restitution.

Foreclosures Still High
RealtyTrac figures show that the real estate market isn't out of the woods yet in terms of home foreclosures. U.S. properties subject to foreclosure action in the first quarter rose 16 percent from the year-earlier quarter and 7 percent from fourth-quarter 2009. Real estate owned by lenders is the highest level RealtyTrac has seen since it began reporting the data, with 932,000 foreclosure filings, default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions being reported in the first quarter. This equates to one in every 138 houses in the U.S. received a foreclosure filing. Nevada, Arizona and Florida are the top states for foreclosure.

About the Author

Linda McGlasson

Linda McGlasson

Managing Editor

Linda McGlasson is a seasoned writer and editor with 20 years of experience in writing for corporations, business publications and newspapers. She has worked in the Financial Services industry for more than 12 years. Most recently Linda headed information security awareness and training and the Computer Incident Response Team for Securities Industry Automation Corporation (SIAC), a subsidiary of the NYSE Group (NYX). As part of her role she developed infosec policy, developed new awareness testing and led the company's incident response team. In the last two years she's been involved with the Financial Services Information Sharing Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), editing its quarterly member newsletter and identifying speakers for member meetings.

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