Cyber-criminals have attacked key government and consumer websites, allowing them to steal the personal details of anyone browsing the sites, The Times has learnt.
Eastern European hackers are suspected of placing the Asprox virus on more than a thousand British websites, including those run by the NHS and a local council, in the past two weeks.
Experts described the Asprox virus as an alarming departure from commonplace viruses, which tend to be spread through rogue e-mails and unregulated websites.
Unlike other viruses, Asprox sits undetected on mainstream sites, with any visitor at risk of being infected. The virus automatically installs itself on a visitor’s computer, allowing a hacker to access financial information.