The Nordea Group, a major Scandinavian bank reported an occurrence recently where over $ 1 million was stolen from the accounts of its clients. This was as a result of a mail sent to clients containing a malicious software, the body of the mail advised the customers to install the antispam software attached to the mail. A lot of customers fell for this wrong information and downloaded the software which later infected their computer with a Trojan virus called Haxdoor. Whenever the client visits the Nordea website to perform a transaction, the Trojan would pop up a window prompting the user to type in their personal details again. The user’s personal details would then be transferred to the author of the virus. This is made possible because of the keylogger embedded in the Trojan. According to Kaspersky, a Trojan is a malware that disguises itself as a legitimate software. The keylogger took records of the interactions between the client and the bank’s website, these records were then sent back to the manufacturer of the Trojan who would later make use of the records for criminal activities.

What is a keylogger?

A keylogger is a software that takes records of keystrokes on a computer and saves these records in a Log file. Sensitive information such as e-mails, passwords, documents, basically anything you type with a physical keyboard are stored in the Log file. A keylogger is mostly used by hackers in acquiring private and sensitive information from users by saving the information acquired in the Log file and sending it to the author of the malware.

How to protect yourself

The internet exposes people to security threats every day, hackers are in constant search of means to retrieve private information from internet users. Sadly, most people are unaware of the risk they face and so they click on and download anything they see on the internet. You can never be too careful when it comes to protecting your privacy on the internet. And so in that light, I will be sharing a few tips you can put together to protect your own interest below.

  1. Be mindful of what you download over the internet

Hackers majorly use downloadable packages in delivering malicious software into your computer. They may package this software as an attachment in an e-mail that appear trustworthy. The most common method used is an E-mail from your bank, like the example stated in the first paragraph of this article, the hacker would send an email in the name of your bank requesting you to perform an action (Download an antispam software, as in the case of the Nordea group), please do not take action on such e-mails until you have confirmed from your bank that it is genuine. Avoid downloading software from unprotected/unverified sources like torrent sites.

  1. Be mindful of the type of sites you visit

 

A malicious program may automatically be launched when an unsuspecting user visits a site that has been infected with the malicious software. Once you begin to doubt the soundness of a website, close it immediately.

 

  1. Be mindful of the public Wi-Fi network you connect to

Hackers can gain access to your personal folders while you are connected to the network. Due to the access they have to your folders, they can copy your personal documents out and even copy a malicious software into your computer without you been aware. For security purposes it is recommended to use a personal modem to connect to the internet.

  1. Install the complete version of an antivirus and ensure the keylogger detection feature is always on.
  2. Use a virtual keyboard to enter sensitive information on websites instead of typing on the physical keyboard, this is because the keylogger does not have access to the information entered on a virtual keyboard. An example of the virtual keyboard is the on screen keyboard that comes inbuilt in every Microsoft Windows computer in

Start – Programs – Windows Ease of Access – On Screen Keyboard.

  1. Follow the security advice given by your financial institutions closely to prevent the avoidable criminal occurrence in your account.

Building strong structures for your computer on the internet would help protect your privacy and other interest. If you think there is nothing important to protect on your computer, then you have no idea what the little information can do in the wrong hands.