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Phishing Attacks Aiming at Small Banks

Con artists on the Internet are aiming their attacks on small banks and their clients, including Heritage Bank based in Boone County. By delivering look-alike legitimate e-mails they are seeking personal account information.

Small organizations tend to believe that hackers would target them less than they would the large businesses. But this is a misconception because hackers know that small firms have less advanced security procedures than the bigger companies that have more resources.

The e-mails that the scammers send are related to phishing attacks, a growing problem on the cyberspace, said Major Jack Prindle, commander of the sheriff's Electronic Crime Division of Boone County, as published by The Kentucky Post on June 9, 2007.

The criminals behind the scam design a copy of the website of the targeted bank and dispatch phishing e-mails warning the recipients of a supposed problem in their accounts. The e-mail also has a link connecting the recipient to the fake site. The unwary users may end up supplying their account information, which the fraudsters use for various deceptive purposes, Prindle added.

After grabbing a pin number, the scammer makes a copy of the actual card and uses it to withdraw money from the account, Prindle explained. Although this type of crime is on an international scale, local financial institutions like Heritage Bank are also attractive targets because they lack the necessary security on their websites, unlike larger banks.

Prindle said his team tries to collect the maximum evidence and share them with authorities and work together so that the perpetrators can be brought to justice and such crimes be eradicated. This is essential to not let the already loose situation get completely out of control, he said.

People across the country who have received such e-mails have called Lee McNeely, VP of Heritage Bank. Majority of them are not the bank's customers, McNeely said in a statement that The Kentucky Post published on June 9, 2007.

The bank officials are not aware of any customer directly hit by the scam. They, however, recommend all recipients to delete such emails.

Related article: Phishing With A Redirector Code

» SPAMfighter News - 6/26/2007

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