Banker Trojan

DEFINITION of 'Banker Trojan'

A malicious computer program designed to gain access to confidential information stored or processed through online banking systems. Banker Trojan is a form of Trojan horse, and can appear as a legitimate piece of software until it is installed on an electronic device. Once installed, the Trojan horse can gain access to computer files and systems. This type of computer program is built with a backdoor, allowing outside parties to gain access to a computer.

BREAKING DOWN 'Banker Trojan'

Banker Trojan is a Trojan horse that redirects traffic from banking and financial websites to another website, ostensibly a website that the attacker has access to. When the software is executed it copies itself onto the host computer, creating folders and setting Registry entries each time the system is started. It searches for specific cookie files relating to personal finance, which have been stored on the computer by financial websites during an Internet visit.

The Trojan horse can execute a number of operations, including running executable files, downloading and sending files remotely, stealing information from a clipboard, and logging keystrokes. It collects cookies and passwords, and may remove itself from a computer when commanded.

Consumers and businesses should be aware of the programs that they download, but sometimes mistakes can happen and computers can become infected. Criminals have become more sophisticated in how they obtain confidential financial information. Viruses, malware, and Trojan horses can still steal usernames and passwords, but many are moving to real-time collection and can transfer money to other accounts in clever ways. Financial institutions have combatted the effectiveness of such Trojan horse programs by increasing the security of their authentication processes. This is especially important as banks increase the number of banking activities that can be conducted via the Internet or mobile devices, which are inherently less secure than conducting banking activities in person.