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Bank account-raiding Trojan Hesperbot has infected computers in UK, Turkey, the Czech Republic and Portugal, The Register has learned.

Net security firm Eset said the software nasty is distributed via rather convincing-looking emails, which are dressed up as legit package tracking documents from postal companies or correspondence from an internet provider and other outfits.

These messages try to trick marks into downloading and running a malicious Windows executable, cunningly named with a .pdf.exe file extension.

Once installed, Hesperbot can silently snoop on passwords by logging a user's keystrokes, take screenshots, record from a video camera if one is connected, intercept network traffic, and pipe all this snaffled data to the crooks' command server. The Trojan can also set up a hidden VNC service, allowing miscreants to remotely log in and take control of the computer.

Armed with this information, crooks can try to log into victims' online bank accounts to siphon off their cash.

And on top of that, marks are persuaded to install software on their Symbian, Blackberry or Android phone, which is the mobile malware component of Hesperbot.

It's estimated hundreds people have fallen for the scam in Turkey, and dozens in each of the Czech Republic, Portugal, the United Kingdom.

“Analysis of the threat revealed that we were dealing with a banking trojan, with similar functionality and identical goals to the infamous Zeus and SpyEye, but significant implementation differences indicated that this is a new malware family, not a variant of a previously known trojan,” said Robert Lipovsky, ESET malware researcher who leads the team analysing the malware.

More details can be found in a report here. ®

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