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17 June 2011, 16:18

Virgin Media warns 1,500 customers of SpyEye infections

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Virgin Media has written to 1500 of its broadband customers warning them that their PCs are infected with the SpyEye trojan; the letters include advice on how to cleanse the machine of the infection. In detecting the problem, Virgin cooperated with the UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA). While analysing botnet behaviour, the agency identified the IP addresses of computers that had sent personal and banking details back to the controllers of the trojan. These addresses allowed Virgin to identify customers whose machines had been compromised, and then alert them.

This is not the first time that Virgin has warned customers of possible infections on their PCs. A company spokesman told the BBC that in the last year it had warned "several thousands" of customers of possibly serious infections on their systems. According to the BBC, Virgin "is understood to be the first UK ISP to give specific warnings about viruses based on SOCA's advice."

Toolkits for malware such as SpyEye are readily available on the internet, and for prices ranging from $100 to $1,000. SpyEye itself received a boost late last year when the developer of Zeus, another trojan that steals personal and bank login details, apparently handed over his source code to the developer of SpyEye, who then incorporated some of it into his own code.

At present, there are no reports of any other ISPs taking action regarding customers' machines that might be infected.

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