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Indian Banking Sector in the Phishing Net

Currently, phishing, followed by the identity theft, is threatening the banking industry of India, as reported by CIOL, on October 30, 2008. So Internet banking, though convenient alternative to the long, unmanageable queues, is still struggling to be recognized as a safer option for the ignorant customers.

Furthermore, the extensively sophisticated cyber-criminals are increasingly defrauding the online bank customers of India's largest private banks and financial institutions in the major metropolitans. These criminals are employing latest and innovative methods to perform the theft of online banking passwords and money from the accounts of the users.

Security experts revealed that in the recent past, several phishing incidents have been reported in the leading public sector banks of India such as State Bank of India, Bank of India and major private banks like ICICI Bank and Axis Bank. The security department of Axis Bank reported that over 1,00,000 phishing e-mails have been sent to the customers of several Indian banks, including Axis Bank.

PA Kalyansunder, General Manager, IT, Bank of India, revealed that the bank confronted a phishing attack in July 2008 when the bank customers started receiving e-mails, apparently from a bank representative, as reported by CIOL, on October 30, 2008.

In similar manner, the two leading private sector banks, HDFC and ICICI, were targeted by the phishers in January this year. The fake e-mails informed the recipients that the banks' security mechanism is being updated. Thus, the users were requested to enter their banking credentials in the spoofed website provided to them by the fraudulent e-mail.

Moreover, the survey of the security firm ReadiMinds pointed out that in 2008, security remained one of the three topmost concerns for the Indian banks as in the previous one year only, nearly 30% of the banks have fallen victim of the phishers.

Finally, the security experts drew the conclusion that a technology solution on its own is no more sufficient to combat the phishing attacks. To match the pace of the phishers, banks have to implement a perfect combination of technology, policy guidelines and user awareness.

Related article: Indian Financial Industry Facing Rising Online Fraud

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