Online Fraud : Caught in the phishing net

By : |September 14, 2009 0

P C Suraj

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Software companies and specially BPOs are trying new ways to increase their revenues as the current sources of generating moolah are fast drying up. Most of the IT services companies are also making it big in the BPO space on the strength of their existing set of clients. More business transactions are starting to happen online.

However, the increasing dependence on the Internet to conduct business is bringing with it additional challenges in terms of security. There are predictions and trends in online fraud over the next twelve to eighteen months.

RSA, a provider of security solutions for business acceleration, in its report submitted by its Anti-Fraud Command Center has predicted that India is one of the top ten countries to be attacked in terms of volume by online fraudsters.

Fraudsters are infiltrating call centers according to the report. The findings show that the top five countries that have been consistently suffering due to online attacks have been the US, the UK, Italy, Canada, and South Africa. Financial services which is considered to be one of the fastest growing segments in Indias BPO industry has been the worst affected due to online crime.

There are a number of parameters that needs to be looked at while shutting down fraud websites and preventing online frauds such as the geographic area, the operating system, and the time when the transaction was done Vikas Desai, lead technology consultant. India and SAARC, RSA
According to Vikas Desai, lead technology consultant, India and SAARC, RSA, There are a number of parameters that needs to be looked at while shutting down fraud websites and preventing online frauds such as the geographic area, the operating system, and the time when the transaction was done.

RSA has started partnerships with Indian Internet service providers (ISPs) and from a back-end perspective, a huge infrastructure has been set up consisting of experts who know the India-specific IT laws and track fraudsters to prevent fraud. Knowledge based authentication tools that work on a series of questions and answers unique to each individual are considered by several call centers to prevent fraud. This technique enables to make it difficult for any person other than the genuine client to guess the precise responses.

While several online attacks are on the rise, phishing continues to prevail as the most used tool by fraudsters to target organizations, especially financial call centers and their customers. Statistics released by the Anti-Fraud Command Center show that globally, phishing attacks grew 66% from 2007 to 2008 and this trend is on an upward motion this year as well. Majority of phished websites detected reported spoofed social networking sites such as Facebook and Orkut. This is a sign of concern for the Indian community, since there are more than 5-6 mn Indians who are actively involved in social networking and spend approximately 25-75 per cent of their time online in social networking activities.

A similar report published by the University of Brighton predicts that the growth of cyber crime, especially in emerging markets such as India and Brazil is of particular concern. The report suggests that lower salaries and fast turnover in the industry might provide an incentive for fraudsters to make extra money through cyber crime in India. Fraudsters in low cost countries such as India charge a meager amount of a little more than 4 in return of providing passwords, addresses, and even passport details.

Call services among the fraudster groups have evolved into one-stop shop for criminals looking to mint out stolen cards and accounts via call centers. Criminals can order these services to commit fraud in the phone channel to any destination and in any language.

Online fraudsters are masquerading as a genuine entity to acquire sensitive information such as passwords, credit card details, and user names. They are not only targeting organizations in all sectors but also individuals who use Internet at work or at home. However, there is a clear need for action from the state, private sectors, and above all the individuals to combat online fraud.

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