Key Government websites have been infected by cyber-criminals aiming to steal browsers' personal details, it was reported today.
More than a thousand Government and consumer sites are said to have been hit, including some run by the NHS and a local council.
The Times Online says the hackers are Eastern European and that security experts estimate at least two million computers worldwide have been affected.
At the heart of the claims is the asprox 'toolkit' that installs malware on vulnerable websites and tries to commandeer them, says The Independent's Cyberlinic columnist, Rhodri Marsden. He said: "Infected websites then install malware on the computers of any visitors to the site, INCLUDING another copy of Asprox. Which then searches for more websites to infect. Vicious.