By Charles Leaver

Trojan Zeus harnesses legit digital certificate

In the family of banking Trojans, Zeus is the nasty patriarch that cannot be silenced. According to CSO Online, it is one of the oldest types of malware of its kind on the black market. Its virulence is largely due to the fact that it has been able to mutate into more formidable strains over the years. Recently, for example, a variant called ZeusVM found its way into online banking platforms by placing itself within digital photos sent to unsuspecting victims, ComputerWorld reported. The covert nature of this attack strategy enabled it to infect banks like Wells Fargo and Deutsche Bank.

By latching itself onto images, Zeus proved particularly deceptive, since, as security researcher Jerome Segura pointed out, “From a webmaster point of view, images (especially ones that can be viewed) would appear harmless.”

The photo strategy proved effective in continuing Zeus’ malicious reign. Unfortunately, it does not look to be ending anytime soon.

Zeus is now using valid digital certificates
Digital certificates help protect the identity of enterprises from a breach by a third party. But according to industry insiders, these may not help protect against Zeus’ newest strain, which appears to be entering banking platforms with valid credentials, CSO Online reported.

The new sZeus strain was discovered by Comodo AV Labs, which said in its post that, “Malware with a valid digital signature is an extremely dangerous situation.”

Fortunately, there are precautions businesses can take to prevent even a strain as covert as the current Zeus iteration from attacking companies. The best line of defense comes in the form of endpoint protection software, which, when properly implemented, provides a security wall against malicious incursions. All businesses are encouraged to look into endpoint management solutions before they find themselves with a Trojan breaching their gates.

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