It could be pretty expensive to check your online banking assets at Internet cafes, or at the public computer in a hotel’s business center.

Here is an interesting article by Robert Schmidt at, quoting FBI sources, where he says:

Tens of millions of dollars have been looted from online brokerage accounts in a fast-growing fraud that targets unsuspecting hotel guests and Internet cafe patrons, Federal Bureau of Investigation officials say.

The way this is done isn’t new, the crooks simply install keylogging software on these public machines. As I’ve written before, keylogging software (itself) is legal and can be purchased by anyone over the Internet. Some of the legal (marketing) justifications are to spy on employees, spouses and your children.

Oh I forgot, they are also used by private investigators, like the ones busted in the recent HP scandal.

Keyloggers are often dropped (installed) on computers via spam e-mails, when an unsuspecting person clicks on the wrong link, also. According to the Anti-Phishing Working Group, the use of them is growing, rapidly. February set an all time record for this type of activity, according to their monthly report.

Although keyloggers are legal, when used by criminals to steal personal and financial information, we refer to them as crimeware (go figure)?

To read the full article at, click here.

I wonder if the FBI’s job would be easier if laws were enacted to stop certain companies from enabling this growing problem?

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