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Local banks at most threat from cyber crime

04 April 2014, 12:39

Nairobi - Cyber criminals are increasingly trying to acquire confidential user information for banking fraud by creating fake sites mimicking financial organizations.

This is according to a study by Kaspersky Lab, the international anti-cyber crime firm.

“In 2013, 31.45 percent of phishing attacks were trading on the names of leading banks, online stores and e-payment systems, up 8.5 percentage points from the previous year,” reported the study.

According to the study, phishing sites aimed at harvesting users’ financial details mainly use the brand names of popular online stores, e-payment systems and online banking systems.

In 2013, the most attractive targets were banks, which were used in 70.6 percent of all financial phishing.

That represents a sharp increase from 2012 when bank phishing represented just 52 percent.

Overall, fake bank websites were involved in twice as many (22.2 percent) phishing attacks in 2013.

 In 2013, Kaspersky Lab heuristic anti-phishing technologies blocked a total of 330 million attacks, an increase of 22.2 percent from the previous year

Fraudsters use the brand names of major companies with large client databases in search of a big criminal profit.

For example, about 60 percent of all phishing attacks using fake bank pages exploited the names of just 25 organizations.

Among e-payment systems, the phishers’ “favorites” are even more clearly-defined with 88, 3 percent of phishing attacks in this category involved one of four international brands namely PayPal, American Express, Master Card and Visa.

“Phishing attacks are so popular because they are simple to deploy and extremely effective. It is often not easy for even advanced Internet users to distinguish a well-designed fraudulent site from a legitimate page, which makes it even more important to install a specialized protection solution. In addition, phishing causes reputational and financial damage to organizations that see their brands exploited in phishing attacks,” commented Sergey Lozhkin, Senior Security Researcher at Kaspersky Lab.

 – CAJ News

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