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NAB closes eight bogus websites overseas ! - 12/30/2005 10:19:07 AM   

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The National Australia Bank and federal police have moved swiftly to shut down eight overseas websites involved in an email banking scam targeting many thousands of Australians.

The sites in China, Turkey, Korea and Germany - linked to a "phishing" scam operating Australia-wide - were put out of action over the past four days.

The extent of the scam was made public yesterday when the West Australian Government warned bank customers that tens of thousands of West Australians had received bogus bank emails.

The emails purport to be official requests for bank details from the National Australia and Commonwealth banks.
Westpac customers have also been targeted.

The scam, which began on Boxing Day, is believed to be bigger than similar banking rorts in the past with many bank customers receiving multiple copies of the emails.

The scam works by stealing bank customers' personal information by capturing consumers' passwords and log-on details when they click on an email link.

Some emails also contain trojans that capture keystroke information.

National Australia Bank spokeswoman Mikala Sabin said today the bank, which had also been working with internet certification authorities worldwide, was alerted to the scam on Boxing Day and immediately began tracking the source of the emails and closing down the scam sites.

Three of the sites were closed this morning as a team of IT specialists working around the clock moved closer to pinpointing the cyber criminals.

"As soon as we were made aware of the scam we put out alerts on our websites and updated that as late as yesterday," Ms Sabin said.

She said the National Australia Bank had received more than 6000 emails and in excess of 700 telephone calls about the bogus emails.

"At the moment the emails, while they ask for people's details, they don't actually go through to anywhere where people can catch the details because we have decommissioned the sites.

"Awareness of this type of thing is really high and only a handful of people have completed their details. We have worked with those people to change their passwords and reactivate their accounts so no fraud has occurred."

Ms Sabin said the latest scam appeared to be from the same group of people who moved the scam sites to different countries as websites were closed down.

"They [the cyber criminals] have sent the same emails linking to new sites. We have closed the latest three sites down this morning."

Ms Sabin said the National Australia Bank had initiated extra security measures that customers could use for internet banking. The system involved a requirement to enter a special code sent to the customer's mobile phone.

On two occasions customers had received an SMS with a code that they had not requested which then had alerted the customers that their bank details were being accessed by a third party.

Ms Sabin said the bank then worked with the customers to change their passwords.

Source : SMH
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