New York: Cyber criminals have unleashed a new malware, Beta Bot, which targets financial institutions, online payment platforms and social networking sites to steal sensitive data, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has said.
The malware, which also spreads through online video talk site Skype, also blocks the user`s anti-virus programmes making them in-effective in tackling intrusions.
Cyber criminals use Beta Bot to target financial institutions, e-commerce sites, online payment platforms, and social networking sites to steal sensitive data such as log-in credentials and financial information," FBI said in a release.
Beta Bot blocks computer users` access to security websites and disables anti-virus programmes, leaving computers vulnerable to compromise, it added.
Describing the malware`s modus operandi, FBI said: "Beta Bot infection vectors include an illegitimate but official looking Microsoft Windows message box named `User Account Control` that requests a user`s permission to allow the `Windows Command Processor` to modify the user`s computer settings."
In the case of user complying with the request, hackers are able to extract data from the computer, it added.
"Beta Bot is also spread via USB thumb drives or online via Skype, where it redirects the user to compromised websites," FBI said.
Beta Bot is also able to perform modifications to user`s computer, it added.
FBI advised computer users to run a full system scan with up-to-date anti-virus software on the infected computer.
"If Beta Bot blocks access to security sites, download the latest anti-virus updates or a whole new anti-virus programme onto an uninfected computer, save it to a USB drive and load and run it on the infected computer," it added.
It is advisable to subsequently re-format the USB drive to remove any traces of the malware, FBI said.