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FDIC Issues Guidance to Banks On Risks of "Spyware"

PR-68-2005 (7-22-2005)
Media Contact:
David Barr (202) 898-6992

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) today issued guidance to financial institutions on how they can protect themselves against "spyware"– an increasingly prevalent form of software that collects personal or confidential information about a person or organization without their prior knowledge or informed consent, and reports it to a third party.

"The information collected through spyware can be used to compromise a bank's systems or conduct identity theft," said Michael J. Zamorski, Director of the FDIC's Division of Supervision and Consumer Protection. "So it is critical that banks stay vigilant about the risks involved with this malicious software, and take appropriate action so that they and their customers do not fall victim to it."

Today's guidance informs institutions of the risks associated with spyware, and recommends actions that financial institutions can take to mitigate those risks on internal computers as well as those used by customers to connect to transactional banking Web sites.

The guidance can be found on the FDIC's Web site at

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Congress created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in 1933 to restore public confidence in the nation's banking system. The FDIC insures deposits at the nation's 8,930 banks and savings associations and it promotes the safety and soundness of these institutions by identifying, monitoring and addressing risks to which they are exposed. The FDIC receives no federal tax dollars – insured financial institutions fund its operations.

FDIC press releases and other information are available on the Internet at, by subscription electronically (go to and may also be obtained through the FDIC's Public Information Center (877-275-3342 or (703) 562-2200).

Last Updated 07/22/2005

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