Bank turmoil windfall for fraudsters

October 13th, 2008 - 6:01 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Oct 13 (IANS) The ongoing market carnage has given rise to a huge phishing boom, security experts say.A British banking group has said that phishing attacks are up more than 180 percent in the wake of the ongoing financial crisis.

Phishing is a practice of deceiving a person, usually through an e-mail, into surrendering private information such as password, credit card and bank account numbers with the object of fraudulently using them.

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued a warning that hi-tech phishing gangs are at their job extracting confidential information about consumers specially in banks which have seen a change of owners, says BBC.

Chase, Wachovia and Bank of America were among the most popular targets with scammers, the FTC said.

Cyber security expert Secure Computing said its October spam report showed that many of the banks and other financial institutions caught up in the turmoil were topping its list of phishing targets.

The firm has announced its ‘Cyber Security Initiative’ which is aimed at protecting critical networks, applications, assets and data from both known and unknown attacks and attackers without sacrificing availability.

Fraud figures released in early October by the Association of Payment Clearing Services (Apacs) of Britain show a steep rise in the number of phishing attacks even before the turmoil in the banking world began.

From January to June 2008 phishing attacks rose by 186 percent on the same period in 2007, it said. In total it saw more than 20,682 phishing incidents during that six month period.

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