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Banking Customers Prime Target of Online Attackers

Domain registrar NetNames recently launched its Quarterly Fraud Report on March 20, 2008 that highlights increment in online frauds against banking customers through phishing e-mails in the beginning of 2008.

Envisional, the sister concern of NetNames, created the report for finding the number of phishing e-mails received by major financial institutions' customers from early December 2007 to end of February 2008. According to the report, financial service organizations' customers received more than 60,000 phishing e-mails, a significant number, in February 2008.

Besides, the report also revealed that phishing attacks surged 70% during December 2007 to February 2008. The findings highlighted serious concern for customers of financial firms who deal online, as the later half of 2007 experienced significant decrease in phishing attacks as compared to the early months of 2007, which made consumers to believe that the attacks had reduced.

As per the findings of the report, cyber criminals target customers of specific organizations, particularly clients of financial sector companies. The top three banks, which received high volume of phishing e-mails, became the chief target of attackers. They collectively received 77% of phishing e-mails in December 2007 and 79% and 88% in January and February 2008 respectively.

Jonathan Robinson, COO, NetNames, said that as the phishing attacks came down on the consumer radar, online fraudsters have intensified their attacks in last few months to take advantage of this false sense of security among online users, as reported by EHIRnews on March 20, 2008.

Robinson further warned online users against surging and renewed attacks and asked users that they should not disclose their personal information over e-mails. He added that financial organizations should also make sure that their customers know about such security thefts and assist in protecting private details of customers, which in turn protect their reputation.

Similarly, RSA, an online security vendor, revealed in its latest report, Online Fraud Report, on March 19, 2008 that phishing attacks targeted at customers of financial firms have risen steadily across the globe. For instance, 59% of attacks were targeted at the US banks and 12% targeted at UK banks in February 2008.

Related article: Banking Sector Hacked by Phishing Sites

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