IBM spots sophisticated new online scam

Eastern European gangs have become sophisticated. It's no longer baseball bats and brass knuckles, a shiny tracksuit and Nike Air Maxs. Now it's phishing, malware and phonecalls – combined.

The result? More than a million dollars (£675,000) taken from large and medium-sized US companies.

The scheme, run by 'well-funded Eastern European gang' was first discovered by IBM.

The scheme, which IBM security researchers have dubbed 'The Dyre Wolf,' is small in comparison with more recent widespread online fraud schemes but represents a new level of sophistication, Times of India reports.

And boy, are they sophisticated! First they send out spam emails with unsafe attachments to people working in different companies.

Once the attachment is opened, it installs malware known as Dyre onto as many computers as possible.

What's amazing about this malware is that it sits quietly in the computer until the user navigates to a bank's website. In an instant, the virus creates a fake screen of the bank's site, saying the site is having issues and that the customer should make a phone call. Of course, the call is made to a person working with the gang.

Once the unsuspecting victim calls, he gets through to an English-speaking operator who already knows what bank the user is trying to reach. The operator then elicits the users' banking details and immediately starts a large wire transfer to take money out of the relevant account.

IBM did not release any details on which companies fell prey to the scheme or the location of the perpetrators, but has advised companies to train their employees to spot phishing attacks.