A client called me recently saying that she couldn’t load web pages, and she couldn’t access the Post Finance e-banking page to make some payments. She told me that she entered the login information on the first page, she would this:
And then the browser would redirect to the Google home page after about 3 seconds (not three minutes).
This is a trojan horse/virus/whatever that was trying to gain access to the bank account, do whatever it wanted for three minutes and then would “fail”.
Luckily, PostFinance (and most other banks) have a two-step login process, so the criminals didn’t gain access to the bank account.
I scanned the computer with an anti-virus program (found 3-4 infections) and an anti-malware program (4-5 infections) and tried it again, but this “Bitte Warten” (“Please Wait”) message was still there. I told the client the best/fastest/surest way of cleaning out the problem would be to re-install Windows after backing up all data.
I also contacted the Post Finance people with a description of the problem, and a screen shot. They actually called me back within 30 minutes and told me they know about this trojan and they have been recommending to their clients to re-install Windows.
So, today, the system is clean, the data was saved/restored and the bank account was verified to be untouched.
As I’ve said many times before, there are 2-3 things that can be done to mitigate / avoid this kind of problem.
- Don’t use an Admin account every day for personal accounts.
- Make sure the Admin password is very secure
- Scan the computer regularly with both an anti-virus (AVG, Avast and Avira are great and free) and an anti-malware program (I use MBAM or Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware) to be safe on all fronts.
If you do this, you should feel good about the security of your system and the minimal likelihood that your computer will be compromised from afar.