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 Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Gangs of hackers, who are presumed to be based in Eastern Europe, initiated various website assaults now known as "The Italian job." More than 10,000 web pages of popular web sites have been penetrated and infected by this attack, and it is believed to have started in the middle of last month. Most of the infected sites are Italian websites, but the expanse of the attacks has reached Spain and the US as well.

A "tool kit" worth $815 which is sold online in Russia was used by the hackers to embed "keylogger" codes on the computers of those who visited the sites. These codes enable the hackers to access the infected machines and track valuable user information such as bank details and passwords. The gravity of this attack has been evidently tremendous as it was aimed at established websites to steal banking identities.

David Perry, director of Trend Micro, says: "This is a paradigm shift. We can expect to see this kind of thing being replicated now for the next five or six months." He explained that the Italian job has become very effective because the bug has been particularly programmed to adapt to various types of weaknesses in computer security systems. "It looks for a wide spectrum of vulnerabilities in a computer, acting like a sort of Swiss Army knife with many different ways to pierce through the protection."

Access the full article at theage.com.au.