Feeds

UK banks hope to send phishing mules packing

Extra security checks

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

UK banks plan to delay transfers between account holders of the same group by up to a day in order to introduce new security checks. The move is designed to help thwart phishing attacks that cost British banks an estimated £12m last year. NatWest, Halifax and Barclays have all introduced the security measure, the BBC reports.

Direct debits and most other payments will not be affected by the extra checks, Barclays spokesman John Warren told the BBC's Money Box programme. "We are introducing a day's delay to payments made by Barclay's customers to other Barclays bank holders which are made for the first time. It just allows our systems and procedures to check and validate their payments... and spot payments that are unusual," he said.

Scam emails that form the basis of phishing attacks commonly pose as 'security check' emails from well-known businesses. These messages attempt to trick users into handing over their account details and passwords to bogus sites. Typically, the fraudsters behind the 'phishing' scams are located outside the UK. Since they are unable to transfer money directly from a victims' online account overseas, UK intermediaries - or 'mules' - are hired to transfer money into other UK bank accounts before sending it overseas. The extra security checks are designed to thwart this stage of the scam.

Although UK bank's losses from phishing attacks are still relatively low the volume of attacks has increased, prompting banks to take action. Banks, under pressure to speed up electronic payments, introduced plans to introduce a new infrastructure by 2007 on Monday. Consumers groups said extra security checks to prevent phishing must not be allowed to derail this process.

Laurence Baxter, Senior Policy Advisor at consumers' association Which? said: "They could do more on security if they need to. But they cannot use this as an excuse to sit on people's money for days on end. We would like to see payments sped up to same day or overnight and we would like to see the banks ensuring that there are proper security measures to do that," he said. ®

Related stories

Fraudsters recruit phishing middlemen
UK police arrest 12 phishing mule suspects
Trojan targets UK online bank accounts
UK banks and police proffer anti-phishing advice

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.