Thursday, 10 March 2011

Email scam targets ANZ customers

via CAAI

Wednesday, 09 March 2011 21:11 Mary Kozlovski

ANZ Royal Bank customers have been targeted with hoax emails requesting that they activate a new ANZ login, in the second phishing scam to hit customers’ inboxes in the space of two weeks.

The email, dated March 9, announces a “new ANZ Log in with added security”, providing a link and instructing ANZ Royal customers to “activate [your] account on new ANZ now as the old location will be deactivated shortly”.

ANZ Royal Bank chief executive officer Stephen Higgins said today that phishing was increasingly prevalent in Cambodia.

“In developed markets people are more aware of it,” said Higgins.

“For people here it’s still relatively new.

“An email that says ‘click on this link to reactivate your account’ goes through to a fake webpage, catches your ID and password and empties your account.”

Higgins added that he had “no idea” how many people had seen the email.

Internet security consultant Bernard Alphonso said that phishing emails have become more sophisticated.

“No more misspelling or wrong languages, it’s as if it’s coming from your bank, and it’s personalised,” said Alphonso.

“There is only so much the banks can do. Many people think Cambodia is not the US or Japan or Hong Kong, so why would people bother? The fact that we are in Cambodia doesn’t present itself as any protection.”

Pily Wong, country manager of Microsoft’s Cambodia office and president of the ICT Business Association of Cambodia, said that knowledge of internet security in Cambodia is low.

“It makes Cambodians easier targets for phishing,” said Wong.

“I am a [ANZ] customer. I received this email asking me to change my details. Luckily for me, I am experienced and I sent an email to ANZ people.”

Higgins said that educating customers about internet security was a key priority.

“We [can] disable their IDs and passwords and reset their passwords, but that relies on people detecting the scam,” said Higgins.

“Once we find out about these things, we actually go through ANZ and have the website shut down. We try to educate our customers.”

Alphonso said that Cambodian customers are also vulnerable because many are using pirated operating software with no security updates.

“The piracy rate here is notorious, it’s one of the highest in the world,” said Alphonso.

“This is a big temptation for many companies to buy US$2 copies.”

Wong said that while pirated software was one factor, people were often unwilling to invest in protecting their computers.

“When you want to secure your IT infrastructure you may have to hire a consultant to come and help you, and it has a cost which not many companies are willing to pay for.”

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