Feeds

Phishing scams thrive in the UK

Peers hear losses set to reach £45.7m for 2006

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

UK incidents of phishing scams have grown 8,000 per cent over the last two years, according to the government's financial watchdog authority. Although losses remain modest compared to other forms of financial fraud, banking security experts speaking before the House of Lords science and technology committee are concerned about the growing prevalence of scams designed to trick consumers into handing over online banking credentials.

Rob Gruppetta, of the Financial Services Authority (FSA) financial crime team, told the parliamentary committee, "We are very concerned about the rate of increase. It has gone up by 8,000 per cent in the past two years. But in the grand scheme of total fraud it is still quite small," he added.

Between January and June 2005, 312 phishing incidents were recorded, a figure that shot up to 5,059 for the first half of 2006, according to figures from UK banking payment organisation Apacs. Improved detection rates are partly behind the increase but even so the growing sophistication of scammers is leading to heavy losses from UK banks.

Apacs security chief Philip Whitaker told peers that scammers had transformed phishing scams from a cottage industry into an industrial process.

An estimated £23.2m was stolen from UK online bank accounts using email scams in the first half of 2006, with a slight decreases in losses to £22.5m for the second half of the year, the BBC reports. In the year prior to October 2004, Apacs estimated phishing cost UK banks £4.5m, which compares to a £45.7m estimated loss for 2006. Despite growing losses, security experts testified that online banking was essentially safe.

Although conceding that was a case for banks to be more transparent about losses to fraud, Philip Robinson, the FSA's head of financial crime, rejected suggestions from peers that US-style information security breach disclosure laws would build consumer confidence. He said issuing alerts in cases where, for example, laptops containing sensitive information were stolen would only cause "undue alarm" to customers. The FSA is meeting with the Information Commissioner next week for talks on how banks might become more open about fraud while still maintaining confidence in the banking system, Robinson added. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
One HUNDRED FAMOUS LADIES exposed NUDE online
Celebrity women victimised as Apple iCloud accounts reportedly popped
Rubbish WPS config sees WiFi router keys popped in seconds
Another day, another way in to your home router
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NZ Justice Minister scalped as hacker leaks emails
Grab your popcorn: Subterfuge and slur disrupts election run up
HP: NORKS' cyber spying efforts actually a credible cyberthreat
'Sophisticated' spies, DIY tech and a TROLL ARMY – report
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
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
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
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.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.