Hacking into bank accounts is dead easy, say experts

Wednesday, 23 July 2003, 11:27 AM EST

Hacking into a bank account is frighteningly easy. All one needs is a rudimentary know-ledge of computers, spy software easily downloaded from the internet and a vulnerable PC.

Computer programs that can spy on websites and e-mails are readily available - free of charge - via the worldwide web.

Experts say the hackers who allegedly stole R530 000 by hacking 10 Absa clients' bank accounts could easily have downloaded everything they needed off the internet.

The hackers would have sent e-mails to clients who used Absa's internet banking.

The e-mails would have contained a type of computer virus called a Trojan horse, which downloads automatically as soon as the e-mail is opened or previewed.

Absa forensic investigators have learnt that this Trojan horse contained spy software that was programmed to report back to the hacker, giving away security codes such as passwords, account numbers and PINs.

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