Silicon reports that financial companies suffered more Trojan horse attacks last year than any other industry.
According to research from security companies Counterpane and MessageLabs, allmost 40 per cent of Trojan attacks and 30 per cent of hacker scans were focused on banks and financial companies.
A statement issued by the security companies said hackers are building Trojans to steal cash directly from bank accounts rather than siphoning identities.
It added: "The new Trojan programs do not have to trick victims out of revealing their password. Instead, they wait for the victim to perform their normal banking business. While the victim checks their bank balance, the Trojan silently siphons money out of the account."
But other security companies say only one such Trojan has been built - more than a year ago.
Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos, told silicon.com: "We did see some malware which did this back in October 2004 but we haven't seen anything similar since. We're not seeing any evidence of a move towards these kinds of attacks from phishing and identity theft malware.