A brutal war is raging in cyber space as sophisticated criminal gangs seek to harness the power of smart devices and next-generation networks to siphon data – and cash – from big business. Richard Irving finds out how service operators are fighting back.
At precisely 12.43pm on July 19 last year, an anonymous computer hacker penned the final lines of code on a devastating new programme that went on to siphon more than $46 million from bank accounts across Italy, Spain, Germany and The Netherlands.
The audacious heist, which targeted at least 30,000 business and retail customers from 33 banks, is the largest fraud ever to specifically target smartphone users and is likely to raise fresh concerns over the safety of next-generation networks.
Forensic investigators found the telltale time stamp as they painstakingly unpicked the malicious software, or malware, behind the raid, subsequently dubbed "Eurograbber".
The robbers used a sophisticated new version of a programme called Zeus, named after the Greek god of all gods, which first came to light in July 2007 in an attack on the US’s Department of Transportation and which is freely available on the black...