Byte Me #16 Internet banking involves some risks

29 May, 2010

You have just logged onto your normal Internet banking site to find that your account is now empty or missing thousands of dollars – what is going on. This purpose of this article is not to cause mass panic but rather to make people aware of the dangers of Internet banking and phishing emails. So what can happen? There are two main types of Internet banking fraud which we will deal with one at a time. The first is to track your moves while on the internet and record your actual keystrokes while you are logging onto your Internet banking site. Mostly this happens when you browse to an unsecured internet site, such as those where you can upload information about your favourite hobby or post information to (most non-business social networking / home user websites). These unsecured sites (often unintentionally) contain malicious software code which is automatically downloaded to your PC just by browsing the site. The code (like a small software program) can then sit in areas of your PC where it can constantly monitor / record your last 500 keystrokes for example. It is then activated when you are on an Internet banking site and do a transfer of over a predetermined amount – normally $5000 or more whereby the keystroke information is then sent back to its creator (someone even in Russia or China). It is now worthwhile for the creator to log onto your internet banking site with all of the necessary details – your username & password, and transfer funds to numerous temporary accounts and then finally offshore to cover their traces. This happens more often than you think and at present the banks are freezing your account until you can prove that you have got expert IT help to stop it happening again. The bank will then normally replace the money themselves – why? Because as long as more customers take up Internet banking they can fire another 500 tellers nationally which saves them more money than the fraud is so far costing them! This may not happen forever and it will get to a point where financial institutions will place more responsibility with the customer to keep their banking details safe. It can also be a crippling experience to have your accounts frozen for a few days. How to avoid this in the first place? Some businesses dedicate just one PC for their Internet banking and don’t allow it to be used on the Internet for anything else. There is also software which cleans (washes) all downloaded internet content as soon as you finish browsing. Also the latest Internet Explorer (version 8) has a setting which virtually eliminates the threat, under Tools – Internet Options – Advanced – Security where you need to tick the box that reads “Empty Temporary Internet Files folder when…”. Next week we will cover the phishing emails. Kerr Solutions is at 128 Musgrave Street & is contactable on 49 222 400.

2010-05-29 Byte Me Article 16- Internet Banking Fraud

  • February 17, 2014