Phishing attacks on social networks have escalated to unprecedented levels and Internet banking scams are increasing at an alarming rate. This is according to local software security specialists and SentryBay partner, J2 Software.
According to research by SA Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric), South Africa is ranked third among countries experiencing high numbers of phishing attacks, and the number of phishing websites which were detected and shut down by local banks had trebled in the first quarter of last year.
Microsoft’s recent Security Intelligence Report points to social networks as “hot beds for cyber scams.” It states that phishing attacks on social networks have increased by 1200% from the beginning to the end of last year.
More concerning, it says that phishing, using social networking as a “lure”, represented 84,5% of all such trickery last December, compared to 8,3% at the beginning of last year.
J2 Software managing director John Mc Loughlin says fraudulent emails that are currently being circulated, are the latest in a rising number which attempt to elicit private information from banking clients to gain access to their money.
“Banking services ombudsman Clive Pillay said that of the complaints which reached his office, one person’s loss amounted to just under R1 million. And while he said that thousands of scam emails were moving around, as of April this year Pillay was attending to 281 cases as opposed to 484 for all of last year,” he explains.
Mc Loughlin believes SentryBay is the best kept secret in internet security. “SentryBay solves the problem of identity theft and stops phishing with patented technology. By protecting against key logging and screen captures every time you enter data online, and by preventing phishing sites from loading in your browser, the SentryBay Data protection Suite provides safe, secure browsing.”
SentryBay Data Protection Suite focuses on neutralising the two greatest threats to internet users – key logging spyware and phishing attacks. These two attack methods are the cause of almost 95 percent of all data stolen from PC users.
The Data Protection Suite is not designed to replace anti-virus, anti-spyware or other desktop Internet
security suites, but to supplement them by providing focused protection for all data entered into websites. Independent tests have verified that the unique and proactive nature of SentryBay’s solution means that it
protects against brand new threats better than any other solution, counteracting the weak points of
conventional desktop anti-virus security software.
The South African Banking Risk Information Centre has expressed concern about the increase in “phishing” attacks, and is urging local bank clients to be extra vigilant with their banking information.
Phishing occurs when criminals make use of mostly emails purporting to be from legitimate financial institutions in an attempt to get users to divulge information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details.
He says by installing SentryBay Data Protection Suite, one is deploying the most comprehensive, real-time data protection available for users of the web. “SentryBay Data Protection Suite provides Anti-Phishing, the software prevents identity and data theft by identifying whenever a user navigates to a scam phishing site.”
“It prevents the site from loading, thus safeguarding you from entering confidential data into these web pages. Your software is trained to recognise popular phishing targets. Whenever you attempt to navigate to a phishing page, you are warned through a message in your browser.”
The SentryBay Data Protection Suite protects the data that one enters online from being harvested by key loggers. Key loggers are forms of Spyware or Trojans that monitor one’s computer activities and covertly record the keystrokes entered by a user. Criminals use key loggers to steal people’s identity, usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, banking details, SSN, etc.
“The anti-key logging features of this software work on multiple levels of one’s operating system and are far more powerful in terms of protecting data than those measures employed by conventional anti-virus solutions,” he explains.
Many key logging Trojans also have a screen capture facility enabling data to be stolen from online keypads, drop down menus etc. The SentryBay Data Protection Suite prevents Trojans from stealing sensitive information by preventing them taking pictures of your screen. Once again, this feature ensures that users are far safer browsing the net than if they merely have conventional anti-virus software installed.
John McLoughlin, J2 Software Managing Director