Feeds

UK banks hope to send phishing mules packing

Extra security checks

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

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

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen
I scream, you scream, we all scream 'DATA BREACH'!
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
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
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
Oz fed police in PDF redaction SNAFU
Give us your metadata, we'll publish your data
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
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 Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?