Cyber crime: Fraudsters target Halifax, Nationwide
Source: The Times of India
By John Leyden
Date: October 29, 2003
LONDON : Britain ’s biggest mortgage lender, Halifax, and largest building society, Nationwide, have become the latest major financial institutions to be targeted by cyber impostors.
Halifax , which has 1.5 million online customers, closed its internet operation on Saturday night after discovering people were being sent bogus e-mails asking them for personal details. The internet scam, known as “phishing”, has recently hit large retail banks in Britain after sweeping through financial institutions in the US and Australia .
“We don’t know how many people received the e-mails, though they appear fairly indiscriminate,” a Halifax spokes-man said. “We’ve traced them back to a site in Russia , and we are working to get it closed.”
A Nationwide spokeswoman said a small number of the building society’s 1 million plus online customers was also sent e-mails asking them for account details. The building society has not closed down its online facility but has issued a warning to customers about the attempted swindle on its homepage. Barclays, Lloyds TSB and Royal Bank of Scotland ’s Natwest unit have also been recent victims of “e-mail spoofing”.
“These frauds seem to be more organised. We are seeing an increase in frequency, and they are global,” Pete Simpson, from Clearswift, a British firm specialising in internet security software, said.
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