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Phishing Attacks on Indian Banks Sharply Increases during 2008, Says NASSCOM

According to NASSCOM (National Association of Software Companies), an industry lobby, several banks in India have been subjected to over 400 phishing scams in recent months, with a sharp rise in September-October 2008. These phishing attacks were mostly launched from compromised Indian government servers, as reported by theeconomictimes on November 10, 2008.

Phishing is a fraudulent activity of spoofing a trustworthy organization via e-mail to steal users' sensitive information like credit card numbers, usernames and passwords.

Further, according to NASSCOM, online criminals have targeted banks like Bank of India, a government-owned bank, ICICI Bank, India's biggest private lender, and HDFC Bank another private lender, among others.

Besides, apparently more than 80 Indian banks lack adequate security defenses for their online account users. As a result, fraudsters can effortlessly gain access to the private information of users. Factors like complication in internet crimes and non-cooperation from online users are attributed to the problems.

Phishing and the consequent identity theft are the greatest security threats scourging the Indian banks today. While internet banking and now mobile banking might be favorable alternatives to cumbersome and long queues, they are still not safe choice for consumers who are less aware of the accompanying threats.

Meanwhile, a growing number of consumers using online banking services of major Indian private financial institutions and banks in the leading metros are becoming victims to professional cyber criminals. These criminals have found new and inventive methods to grab internet banking passwords, and subsequently money from the users' accounts.

Scammers today are exploiting every opportunity they find. Thus, under ordinary circumstances, users are more careful, but when the banking industry is under crisis, a less complicated e-mail telling the recipient that he needs to reset his password to safeguard his account could upset an end-user and even make him click on a link, leading to siphoning off bank balances by fraudsters.

Similarly, a survey by ReadiMinds, a Singapore-based software company, revealed that of the three highest concerns for the Indian banks in 2008, security maintenance was one.

Related article: Phishing With A Redirector Code

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