An upstart Trojan horse program has decided to take on its much-larger rival by stealing data and then removing the malicious program from infected computers.Great. Now the Russian botnets are fighting each other to become the ultimate data swiper, and the results will be Terminators.
Security researchers say that the relatively unknown [Spy Eye toolkit] added this functionality just a few days ago in a bid to displace its larger rival, known as Zeus.
The feature, called "Kill Zeus," apparently removes the Zeus software from the victim's PC, giving Spy Eye exclusive access to usernames and passwords.
Zeus and Spy Eye are both Trojan-making toolkits, designed to give criminals an easy way to set up their own "botnet" networks of password-stealing programs. These programs emerged as a major problem in 2009, with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation estimating last October that they have caused $100 million in losses.
Trojans such as Zeus and Spy Eye steal online banking credentials. This information is then used to empty bank accounts by transferring funds to so-called money mules -- U.S. residents with bank accounts -- who then move the cash out of the country.
Sensing an opportunity, a number of similar Trojans have emerged recently, including Filon, Clod and [Bugat], which was discovered just last month.
If I get nuked by a Russian botnet that has achieved AI sentience, I'm going to be goddamn cross.