Britain Warns of Trojan Horse Computer Attacks

Article excerpt

Computer experts are warning of an increase in targeted computer attacks worldwide.

In such attacks, virus writers craft Trojan horse programs to sneak into computers and steal documents. Recently, Great Britain's central government computers were targeted by these widespread and sophisticated attacks.

Central government computers have been the most popular target, but corporations and individuals are also at risk, according to a warning from the British National Infrastructure security Coordination Center (NISCC).

"The attackers' aim appears to be covert gathering and transmitting of commercially or economically valuable information," the warning stated. The attacks had recently become more sophisticated, according to the agency.

The warning did not mention specific agencies or firms that had been attacked. But the warning listed more than a dozen Trojan horse programs that the agency said had been used in the attacks since January.

In many cases, employees are tricked into installing the malicious programs by clever e-mails loaded with infected documents. Sometimes, the attackers download publicly available documents off the Internet, load them with the Trojan horse, and then e-mail them to carefully selected employees who would be likely to open such a file. …


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