Support Marketplace

Mere mortals can't defeat Zeus

Malware on a computer

More than 100 people in the U.S., England, and other countries have been arrested for stealing money online using a bit of malicious computer code called Zeus. But those arrests will not stop more of these attacks from happening.

Zeus can get into your computer pretty easily. All you really need to do is swing by the wrong page to get exposed. From there, it goes to work on your computer looking for any information on your online banking, trying to get account numbers and passwords, recording keystrokes if it can. Then it sends that information off to whoever dispatched in the first place. It's a sophisticated bit of malware and very hard to detect.

We talk with Chet Wisniewski from the security firm Sophos about what Zeus is and how it works and how hard it is to stop.

We also check in with security analyst Alex Cox from NetWitness about how bad guys go about getting the Zeus program to deploy. Turns out: It's super easy. You can buy it online -- price varying depending on how fancy a model you want.

Alex Cox says Zeus criminals are hard to catch. The actual thief might be in Latvia, server's in Brazil, it's routed through Africa. By the time you deal with all those nations, laws, and languages, the crook has moved on.

Comments

I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...