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SEATTLE An elaborate new computer virus threatens to let hackers take money from your bank account while covering their tracks, preventing account holders from knowing they ve been victimized.

MSNBC.com reports the virus swaps out banking web pages, thereby preventing account holders from knowing their money is gone.

The best example to explain how it works is a scene from a spy or heist movie. The spy hacks into a building s surveillance camera feed and makes it look like nobody is there when, in fact, someone is walking right by the camera.

The same thing applies with the new virus. When a person uses an infected computer, the virus steals their login information and tricks them into revealing other personal information. The thieves then use that information to take money from the accounts. But later, when the victim tries to log on again, the virus intercepts them and makes it look like there have been no fraudulent transactions.

Typically, the advice is to check your statement online for any fraudulent use. But if you keep checking on the same computer, you won t know there is anything wrong. The only way to find it is to access your account on an uninfected computer, go to an ATM or wait for your bank statement in the mail.

The new virus came to light after a large retail bank in the U.S. discovered it. The bank was not named in the MSNBC.com article.

Learn more about the virus at MSNBC.com

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