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Phishing gets personal

Harpoons replace trawlers in hunt for victims

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Fraudsters are using stolen information to lure victims into divulging additional sensitive information in a new form of phishing attack. These so-called personalised phishing attacks target individual named accountholders at specific banks, according to anti-fraud software firm Cyota.

Crooks are using real information about the accountholder – such as the person’s name, correct full account number, and other bank information – to make the emails look more legitimate and thereby increase response rates. The approach contrasts with typical phishing attack where fraudsters randomly dispatch thousands of spam emails without the slightest attempts to target their attacks.

Personalised phishing attacks seek to supplement existing lists of stolen credentials with even more sensitive information, such as ATM PIN numbers or credit card CVV codes.

"This highly coordinated, two-phase fraud attack demonstrates the lengths that fraudsters will go to maintain a high rate of success, and the need for constant innovation among banks and their security providers to match the continuing evolution of online threats," said Amir Orad, executive VP of marketing at Cyota.

The company advises consumers not to follow links within emails ostensibly from their bank or online merchant requesting personal or account information. Instead, users should go directly to the site concerned to verify a request or complete the transaction. ®

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