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08.05.10

British Windows Users Specifically Targeted by Botmasters

Posted in Europe, Microsoft, Security, Windows at 6:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Westminster palace
Time for the British government to leave Windows perhaps?

Summary: Web criminals like to prey on Windows PCs in the United Kingdom, at least based on the distribution of Zeus

THE UNITED KINGDOM is a target for many scams. Because of its characterisation as a country of generous givers, many requests for donation are also being sent specifically to residents of the UK. This is a well-known fact. It turns out that malicious people are also targeting British residents not just with requests for donations (genuine or fake, e.g. snail mail appeals or E-mail scams) but also with botnets, which of course exploit the many, many vulnerabilities in Windows. One in two Windows machines is believed to be a zombie, but not all of them are actively harvested and their users defrauded.

“Large Zeus botnet used for financial fraud,” says this new report, but mind the specifics: [via]

The botnet appears to be controlling more than 100,000 infected computers, 98% of which are UK Internet users. The criminals have been harvesting all manner of potentially lucrative and revenue-producing credentials – including online account IDs plus login information to banks, credit and debit card numbers, account types plus balances, bank statements, browser cookies, client side certificates, login information for email accounts and social networks and even FTP passwords.

Watch out, British Windows users. It’s more dangerous to be a Windows user in the UK than it is to be a Windows user in Nigeria, for example. There is actual targeting going on and last year's attack on Korea's Internet also originated from Windows botnets in the UK.

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