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Westpac Customers Alerted About Phishing E-Mail

Auckland-based SMX, an e-mail security firm, has alerted online users in New Zealand about as sophisticated phishing attack that is currently aiming Internet banking customers of Westpac.

According to Thom Hooker, Director of Operations at SMX, the phishing e-mail arrives in the user's mailbox as an official looking message from Westpac, as reported by scoop on October 8, 2008.

The e-mail, however, does not ask the recipient to load a 'security software' or reset his/her password instead it attempts to trick the potential victim into following a link leading to a malicious Website. In all probability, the message tries to install a Trojan or similar program by informing the recipient of a failed login to his/her Internet banking account.

The e-mail further asks the user to open one of a pair of links to verify whether the recipient had experienced any suspicious activity or not. However, both the links lead the user onto a Korea-based Website. Moreover, the phishing attack is sufficiently high-tech to reach most of the household e-mail users as well as penetrate certain company e-mail filters.

Additionally, the scammers are sending a large number of e-mail messages although most of the recipients do not own a bank account with Westpac. The idea behind randomly sending message is that even a single user falls to the scam, it will lead to huge financial gain.

Meanwhile, there is report of the scam spreading all over the country. It (the scam) was noticed recently following the receipt of the phishing e-mail by many city police personnel who subsequently informed about it to the bank. It is advised that anyone receiving the message should refrain from answering it, and if anybody has already done so, then he/she should get in touch with the bank right away.

In the age when phishing attacks are getting increasingly sophisticated, nearly 10% of the recipients reply to scam e-mails by either giving out their personal information or by clicking on links that download spyware. Such spyware could give hackers access to the recipient's computer and utilized to steal banking passwords or other confidential information.

Related article: Westpac Internet Banking Customers Deceived via Phishing E-Mail

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