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NatWest Bank, the Most Targeted Brand for Phishers

Anti-spam setup ClearMyMail has issued a list of most phished organizations in the UK, with the NatWest Bank forerunning all other targeted brands.

ClearMyMail said that of all the phishing e-mails the outfit intercepted during December 2007, 41% impersonated the NatWest Bank.

The company's phishing league table showed Citibank on the second position, with 27% of phishing e-mails, and HSBC on the third position with 11%. Another seven brands ranged over UK and global institutions, comprising of Abbey at 6%, Lloyds TSB at 4%, PayPal at 2%, Nationwide Building Society at 1%, Royal Bank of Scotland at 1%, HBOS at 0.8%, and MBNA at 0.5%.

The data were monthly estimates from December 2007 when the period was busy with Christmas spam.

Commenting on the results, Managing Director, Dan Field, of ClearMyMail, said that without protection for e-mail, the UK customers for online banking could be highly vulnerable to tricks that get them to divulge their account information to cyber criminals. He said that the crafty phishing e-mails were well constructed and appeared like authentic messages sent from the banking institution. Sourcewire reported this on January 22, 2008.

Field also said that the attack had reached a stage where the crooks were developing an e-mail database portfolio on contact information relating to a certain building society or bank in attempts to enhance their success rates. Techworld published this on January 22, 2008.

The list although indicates the visitor's traffic of a relatively less significant service provider, it does provide some interesting evidence describing the type of the fraudulent e-mails. It appears the phishers have a preference for international institutions than the UK ones. For, a number of UK banks appear almost at the bottom of the table with respect to the number of phishing e-mails purported from them although they are some of the top banks in the European continent.

In conclusion, Field said that spammers are using highly advanced technology to distribute ever more increasing number of phishing mails and governments worldwide need to pressurize ISPs (Internet Service Providers), banks and police to tackle the issue. ClearMyMail published Field's statement on January 22, 2008.

Related article: NatWest Bank Customers Warned About Phishing Scam

» SPAMfighter News - 02-02-2008

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