Lately there has been a lot of news about Zeus Botnets and crackdowns on them. I thought I’d take a moment to tell you why this is important to you and in the larger scheme of things.
Identified in 2007, Zeus is a Trojan Horse type of malware that steals banking information by Man-in-the-browser keystroke logging and Form Grabbing. This captures your information then removes your money. While much of this Cyber Battle has been placed upon the banking industries security shoulders this can be solved mostly at the personal level. This cost is then transferred to you and the organization through various form like fees, interest rates, and cost of services.
The point of entry for Zeus is most likely a targeted download you were looking for (that latest song or vides, etc) or by a phishing email. Stop clicking links that you don’t trust and get them from industry established and reputable entities and 9 times out of 10 you’ll have no issue. The problem is that there is so much incentive to continue to spread this type of item through the internet (piracy, internet traffic generated advertising, identity theft) that it is an enormous scale fight.
You want this fight to succeed and be deterred. For far too long Cyber criminals and Hacktivists have escaped unscathed and without ramification while they inflicted massive damages upon organizations and individuals. This all has occurred while Countries and their Governments worked to identify and create the building blocks for something like the Zeus crackdown. And although Offensive Cyber Crime capabilities still lead the Defensive Cyber Crime capabilities by several years (if Zeus is used as a metric ~5 years of lag) the continued attack on botnet and Cybercrime entities will start to inflict and induce deterrence for future individuals considering starting down this path.
[via The Microsoft Blog]