07 Feb 2011

SpyZeuS ready to wreak havoc

Two of the most dangerous pieces of spyware out there are teaming up.

The hybrid called SpyZeuS, after SpyEye and ZeuSTwo, has become a major security threat. Since October, security experts have suspected that hackers were abandoning ZeuS - which penetrated the websites of Bank of America and NASA - and sending leftover codes to the creators of SpyEye.

Now, traces of the spyware SpyZeuS are being detected, and beta versions are being shipped daily.

"Just be aware," said principal research analyst at security firm NetWitness Alex Cox. "There should always be a red flag when you're using a computer at home and you are asked for something that your login doesn't normally ask you for. That should give you a heads up that something's awry."

With cyber security a major concern, the Department of Homeland Security is investing $40 million this year in an effort to beef up the United States’ defenses. One program funded by the DHS, the Comprehensive National Cyber Initiative, will focus on software assurance, enterprise-level security metrics, network resiliency and making cyber security more user-friendly.