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Bank of Israel Cautions Customers of Phishing Scam

On November 10, 2009, the Bank of Israel sent out a mail cautioning that mails which were lately sent asking users for information, viz. bank account numbers and passwords, are fraudulent.

Security experts noted that phishing is an online fraud that is traditionally conducted by means of e-mails or instant messages. It takes user to a forged site where he/she is asked to enter requisite details. The private information which is usually asked includes usernames and banking passwords, which the fraudsters could use for stealing identity.

The bank informed that the e-mails purporting to be coming from a forged e-mail address of the central bank (service@bankisrael.govt.il) asked users to visit a website by means of an attached link, whereby they needed to update their details as a latest security system was being placed to ensure the maximum security level for online banking customers.

Users clicking the link land on a site that appears exactly like the home page of the Bank of Israel. On the phony site, users were asked to provide personal details including name, address, credit-card number, e-mail ID, number printed on the reverse side of credit card as well as its date of expiry, PIN number, ID number, and bank account number.

As per the bank, these e-mails belonged to a group of cyber criminals who try to deceive bank customers into divulging their private details. The bank has declared that it does not manage individual bank accounts and has not send requests to customers to link to this fake website for filling their private details like credit card numbers or any sort of password.

Further, phishing attacks on Israeli Banks are nothing new. In the age of online banking, phishing has become more widespread. For example, in the fourth week of October 2009, attackers tried to cheat customers of Bank Leumi into revealing information using an identical ploy. Customers were directed to a look-alike website of the bank. Luckily, the bank was contacted the firm where the forged website was hosted and have it closed down.

Related article: Bank Issues Spam Alerts

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