Cat photos. They’re all so adorable and potentially full of malware. Main Street reports that a new British mobile network study has discovered some of the kitty pictures that the Internet loves so much are actually carrying a Trojan that will steal money from your bank account. French security researcher Xylitol sniffed out the Zeus or Zbot Trojan malware, a malicious bit of software that hides in JPEG files using steganography.
Also known as ZeusVM, the Trojan malware sits in the user’s computer undetected and invisible. The malware is programmed with a database of bank addresses and once the users loads into one. From here ZeusVM infects your web browser and triggers invisible transactions.
This vulnerability has already been spotted in one image of a cat laying in money and photographs of rainbows, but there could be many more infected images out there. However, this is an easily avoidable problem by simply immediately deleting emails from complete strangers with subjects like “click to see a cute cat” or “check it out, double rainbow.” In general it’s just commonsense to avoid emails with attachments from people you don’t know.