As regulators push banks to adopt stronger measures to prevent fraudsters from breaching their customers' online bank accounts, there are indications that designers of malware have turned their sights to softer targets, such as corporate payroll systems.

"They're finding the weaker links," says Avivah Litan, an analyst at Gartner, pictured at right. "Banks are spending a lot of money on preventive measures, and regulators have forced them to institute improvements. That's not true for payroll providers."

Trusteer, a provider of software protecting browsers from malware, reported last week that it had discovered a configuration of Zeus—one of the more ubiquitous strains of malware—that was designed to capture a screenshot of a payroll services page from Ceridian Corp., which provides human resources services to companies. Minneapolis-based Ceridian released a statement saying that no breach had occurred.

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