Finnish Police E-mails Spoofed in Phishing Attack
In a warning released by Finland's NBI (National Bureau of Investigation), the public has been alerted about "phishing" gangs, which are currently preying to financial institutions and banks consumers.
'Phishing' means sending a phony or spoofed e-mail to customers or clients of a bank, persuading them to 'verify' their password and account details over the Internet.
As per some reports, on November 9, 2009, Internet scammers for the first time tried to copy the Finnish police e-mails. They crafted messages in such a way that unwitting users could be deceived into giving away their credit card numbers.
The e-mails, using correct Finnish language, solicited credit card details from the recipient in the guise of terminating a supposedly misused card. The police said - it was rare to find phishing e-mails that purported to be from the police.
According to Timo Laine (Inspector of the NBI), it is usual for phishers to feign reputed organizations for stealing data but the current attack using the name of the police is apparently new. There have been no reports about anything similar like this before, Laine said, as reported by YLE.FI on November 9, 2009.
Moreover the officials said that efforts were on to establish stronger filters for bank customers' online transactions. The NBI was working in close coordination with the bank authorities and Internet Service Providers to foil the gang's activities.
In the meantime, the NBI noted that banks and police did not ever ask for sensitive information over e-mail. A senior officer at the NBI stated that in addition to the requirement of stricter software, it was also important to have the scam publicized to increase the general public's awareness. According to him, the bureau hoped that financial institutions, particularly banks, could do their bit by spreading information to their customers along with the common mass.
Phishing e-mails mostly related to tax topics and banks are arriving into inboxes in increasing numbers. Similarly, during October 2009, the HMRC (UK) alerted about a massive e-mail fraud that presented fake tax refunds to trick recipients in such a way that they revealed their credit card or bank particulars.
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» SPAMfighter News - 20-11-2009