Clampi Trojan Virus Attacks the World of Online Banking

July 2009 not only brought the hopes of fun summer activities, but it also brought the new vicious Trojan virus called Clampi. Clampi is a newly sophisticated virus designed to attack online banking systems. And unlike most Trojan viruses this virus can be picked up from trusted sites like blogs, online magazines, search engines and mainstream news websites, not just gambling and pornography sites. It also is only designed to attack computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system. So Mac users are safe from Clampi, for now.

Currently, Clampi is tracking over 4,500 financial websites. Most Trojan viruses usually track 30-40 sites at a time. Clampi is designed to watch: banks, credit card companies, e-mails, retail sites, utilities, online casinos, wire transfer services, share brokerages, government sites and mortgage lenders. Clampi is also not just limited to the United States. It has been found attacking in the United States, Britain and other English speaking countries.

How Clampi Operates

Once Clampi has been picked up it settles into your computer and waits.  What does it wait for? It waits for the user to log on to a bank account, credit card or some other financial website. Once the login information is entered, Clampi grabs it and shoots it to the cyber criminal’s computer. From there the criminal uses the information to fulfill their desires. Whether it is taking money from a bank account, using a credit card to make purchases or reek whatever havoc they may.

What Clampi Can Do

Maybe you’re thinking that this can’t happen to you and maybe it won’t. But it has been reported that through the use of Clampi criminals have stolen $75k from a car parts company in Georgia, $30k from a non-profit childcare organization in Seattle, $480k from an online city bank account, $150k from a public school district in Oklahoma, $350k from a Chicago-are school district and $700k from the Western Beaver School District in Pennsylvania. There have also been reports of companies losing anywhere from $10k to $500k because of this one virus. There is really no telling how many people have been victims of the Clampi virus.

What You Can Do

The most important thing you can do is to be proactive about protecting yourself from getting Clampi. Here are some ways to be proactive:

  • Protect your computer with security software. It should be a natural part of being online. Make sure that you have the most current version of your anitvirus software and download any necessary patches to keep it current.
  • Avoid clicking on suspicious links on blogs, e-mails and social networking sites. If you are not sure that it can be trusted, then don’t go there.
  • Don’t use e-commerce sites that you are not familiar with and use a credit card instead of a debit card when making online purchases.
  • Use caution when using a wi-fi network – especially one outside your home, like at an airport or coffe shop. Don’t access financial web sites when using wifi in these kinds of locations. Make sure that your connection is password protected so that others cannot hack into your connection. Use WPA2 (or stronger) encryption and strong passwords when setting up your wireless network at home.

Author: Dave Nielsen

I started using computers in 1978 on the Apple II and was first online (using my “high-speed” 1200 baud modem) in 1989. I’ve managed web sites for several Fortune 500 companies and for internet start-ups. Working for one of those start-ups is what brought me into the world of credit. I was part of the the executive team that ran QSpace, the first company to offer credit reports over the internet.

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