The criminals use a computer virus to break into the connection while account holders are banking online. The criminals then insert additional payments to foreign bank accounts.
Apparently, this type of cyber theft occurs to several account holders in the Netherlands each day. The scheme is known as man-in-the-middle because the criminals place themselves between the bank and the victim.
Impossible to avoid
Commuter freesheet says it is nearly impossible for people to protect themselves against such viruses. An IT expert told the paper that the criminals continually update the viruses they use and that “it is impossible to avoid the malware even with a good virus scanner.”
The Dutch Banking Association says the man-in-the-middle scheme is just one of the ways in which cyber criminals seek to steal money online. Another example is phishing, in which people are directed to a phoney website where they are asked to fill in their personal data - including bank account information and passwords.
The latest figures published by the Association show that 2011 will break all records in terms of bank-related cyber crime.