Banks and police in Japan are investigating the theft of thousands of pounds from customer accounts as a result of the suspected use of spyware.
The banks say money was illegally transferred electronically from their customers’ accounts to another single account.
The Japanese banks affected include eBank, Japan Net Bank and Mizuho Bank.
Japanese newspapers are reporting that it is believed customers received spoof e-mails from banks with attachments. It is being reported that these attachments could have led to remote key-logging software being installed on customer PCs.
The key-logging software would have sent bank account log-in information to a remote hacker, allowing them to clear customers’ bank accounts.
Criminals attempted to steal over $400m (£216m) from the London offices of the Japanese bank Sumitomo Mitsui earlier this year, after hacking into the company’s network.
It is believed key-logging software was installed on PCs at the bank and criminals attempted to transfer funds to a remote account, before being foiled by the National Hi-Tech Crime Squad.