Cyber crooks target credit card information

Computer attacks growing in professionalism and intensity, security specialists warn

The nation’s computers are increasingly threatened by attacks from malicious software – malware – which allows criminals to obtain information from unsuspecting victims, say computer security experts. Over the past year, a reported 80,000 computers have been stricken, but in the past six month, the pace is increasing.

“It is as if the cybercriminals have suddenly become aware of Denmark,” Jan Kaastrup, of security firm CSIS, told TV2 News. “So far in Europe it had primarily been countries such as Italy, the Netherlands and Britain.”

Computer security specialists have identified a number of malicious viruses, most of which target credit card information.

“It is hard to protect yourself completely,” Kaastrup told TV2 News. “Even if your antivirus software is completely updated, it will not catch these attacks.”

The problem, said Kaastrup, is that criminals use third-party applications like Java, Flash, and Acrobat Reader to gain access to computers. The malicious programs are hidden inside the banner advert on an otherwise reputable websites and can infect a computer, even if the user never clicks it.

According to CSIS, which provides services for a number of banks and other companies dealing with sensitive data, the attacks are being conducted by professionals.

“I am a little shocked at how organised it all is,” Kaastrup said. “The entire food chain of cybercrime has grown significantly.”

New figures from Nets DanID, the company that manages the country’s electronic payments system, show that debit card fraud is on the rise. Last year, such scams netted crooks 46.1 million kroner – an increase of 10 million kroner in two years.

The security firm FraudID said malware is often used in the fraud cases they investigate.

“It is highly organised,” FraudID investigator Helle Ihme told TV 2.