Bulletin: SLS2010017

Date:
July 26, 2010
To:
All Issuing Offices
RE:
Cyber crime; Zeus botnet

Dear Associates:

We have been advised that a Northern Virginia agent recently became a victim of cyber crime.  The agent was unable to log onto its online banking account for several days.  During that time, three unauthorized wires were sent out of the agent's escrow account to banks in New York, and then the funds were immediately forwarded to Russia.  The agent suffered a loss in excess of $200,000 and had to fund the escrow account for the shortage.  The bank and FBI are currently investigating the situation.  It is believed that the Zeus botnet virus infected either the bank's or the agent's computer system, and that is how the theft was accomplished.  The Zeus botnet is very hard to detect despite the existence of anti-virus or malware systems on a computer.

Please exercise vigilance regarding online banking procedures and computer security.  The attached article describes the Zeus botnet and potential methods of defending against it.  [http://searchsecurity.techtarget.com.au/articles/41634-STATUS-UPDATE-The-Zeus-botnet]  If you are unable to access your online accounts or if you become aware of unauthorized transfers, contact your bank immediately.

If you have any questions relating to this or other bulletins, please contact Stewart Legal Services or your local underwriting personnel.

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References

Bulletins Replaced:
None
Related Bulletins:
None
Underwriting Manual:
None
Exceptions Manual:
None
Forms:
None