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Hackers steal millions from UK banks

Hackers have stolen millions of pounds from UK bank accounts, the media have reported on Wednesday. A total of £20 million was stolen, and the authorities believe it was done using a computer virus called Dridex.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) has warned that thousands of UK computers may have been affected by the malware, which is also known as Bugat and Cridex.

"This is a particularly virulent form of malware and we have been working with our international law enforcement partners, as well as key partners from industry, to mitigate the damage it causes. Our investigation is ongoing and we expect further arrests to made," said NCA spokesperson, Mike Hullet stating that at least one "significant arrest" has been made.

It is believed that the malware was used before and has “earned” its creators more than £65 million so far. The malware infects computers and grabs user's credentials, including passwords and sends it to the hackers, who then gain access to bank accounts.

The virus is spreading over email, IB Times (opens in new tab) wrote in a report, in what looks as a completely legitimate attachment. “The malware automatically gets installed on a computer, when a user opens a seemingly legitimate email document that contains the virus,” it says.

"Users are urged to visit the CyberStreetWise and GetSafeOnline websites where a number of anti-virus tools are available to download to help clean up infected machines and get advice and guidance on how to protect themselves in the future," the NCA said in the statement.

Confirming the arrest in relation to the cyber attack, the US department of justice released a statement on Tuesday 13 October saying: "Andrey Ghinkul, aka Andrei Ghincul and Smilex, 30, of Moldova, was charged in a nine-count indictment unsealed today in the western district of Pennsylvania with criminal conspiracy, unauthorised computer access with intent to defraud, damaging a computer, wire fraud and bank fraud. Ghinkul was arrested on 28 August 2015 in Cyprus. The US is seeking his extradition."

Sead Fadilpašić
Sead Fadilpašić

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.