'Phishing' is a common form of Internet piracy. It is deployed to steal confidential financial information like bank account numbers, net banking passwords, credit card numbers, personal identity details etc. Later the perpetrators may use the information for siphoning money from the victim's account or run up bills on victim's credit cards. In the worst case, one could also become the victim of identity theft. A few customers of some other Indian banks have been affected by the attempt of phishing in early 2006.
The following section details the methodology of a 'Phishing' attack, do's and don'ts in sharing of confidential information and the corrective action to be taken by a victim of a phishing attack.
- Phishing attacks use both social engineering and technical subterfuge to steal customers' personal identity data and financial account credentials.
- Internet banking user receives a fraudulent e-mail seemingly from a legitimate Internet address.
- The email invites the user to click on a hyperlink provided in the mail.
- User clicks the hyperlink and is redirected to a fake web site that looks similar to the genuine Internet banking site.
- Usually the email will either promise a reward on compliance or warn of an impending penalty on non-compliance.
- User is asked to provide confidential information, such as login/profile or transaction passwords and bank account numbers etc.
- User provides the details in good faith and clicks on 'submit' button.
- User is displayed an error page.
- User has fallen prey to a phishing attack.
- Do not click on any link, which has come through e-mail from an unknown source. It may contain malicious code or could be a 'Phishing attack'.
- Do not provide any information on a page which might have come up as a pop-up window.
- Never provide your password over the phone or in response to an unsolicited request over e-mail
- Always remember that information like password, PIN, TIN, etc are strictly confidential and are not known even to employees/service personnel of the Bank. You should therefore, never divulge such information even if asked for.
- Always logon to a site by typing the proper URL in the address bar.
- Enter your user id and password only at the authenticated login page.
- Before providing your user id and password please ensure that the URL of the login page starts with the text ‘https://’ and is not ‘http:// ‘.The 's' stands for 'secured' and indicates that the Web page uses encryption.
- Always look for the lock sign () at the right bottom of the browser and the VeriSign certificate.
- Provide your personal details over phone/Internet only if you have initiated a call or session and the counterpart has been duly authenticated by you.
- Please remember that the bank would never ask you to verify your account information through an e-mail.
What to do if you have accidentally revealed password/PIN/TIN etc:
If you feel that you have been phished or you have provided your personal information at a place you should not have, please carry out the following as a damage mitigation measures immediately:
- Change your login/profile/transaction password immediately.
- Report the incident to the bank.
- Check your account statement and ensure that it is correct in every respect.
- Report any erroneous entries/transactions to the bank.
- Use the other compensatory controls provided by the bank like adding trusted third parties to zero, enabling high security, etc. to minimize the risk.