WAUSAU, Wis. (NBC 26) -- A local veteran claims to have been robbed of thousands of dollars from his bank account, and over $10,000 dollars in Bitcoins. Karl Klimes says it happened when his computer was hacked, in just a matter of hours.
A week and a half ago Klimes says he noticed that his bank account was nearly empty when thousands of dollars suddenly disappeared. Additionally, the veteran says over $10,000 in Bitcoin also vanished overnight. In the time since then, friends have created a PayPal account for him to help with the loss.
"It was gone within a matter of hours from what I can see in the transaction logs," says Klimes.
Klimes says someone managed to get his bank account information and usernames and passwords after he downloaded unfamiliar software online.
"You can easily pick those up from an email if you click on the wrong link or go to a website that has malicious code on it."
The software Klimes ultimately found on his computer is known as a keylogger program, software that records your most vulnerable information every step of the way.
"Keyloggers are pieces of software that record either the keyword strokes you make with your computer or possibly the clicks you make with your mouse," says UWO Lecturer Michael Patton.
Patton, who works at UWO's College of Business says it's relatively simple, to become a victim of this sort of a hack.
"It's definitely something that's pretty easy to do and it doesn't require a lot of technical expertise on the bad actor's behalf."
The best way to avoid this type of a hack is to not click on unfamiliar links and to avoid downloading software you're not 100 percent sure of. But if you do, Patton says you'll want to take care of the mistake immediately.
"I would say if you suspect that you have a keylogging software on your system that you take it to a professional who can do some of that more in-depth investigating for you," says Patton.