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06 Apr 2004

Phishers target Swiss banking customers, Sophos reports

Users should be wary of clicking on links to bogus banking websites
Users should be wary of clicking on links to bogus banking websites

One of Switzerland's largest regional banking organisations has been targeted by criminals aiming to defraud customers.

Basler Kantonalbank (BKB), headquartered in Basel, has warned customers to be wary of emails claiming to come from the bank which may result in sensitive banking details being stolen or "phished".

In a warning on its website the bank warns users not to click on links contained in the emails, which direct customers to a bogus version of BKB website. There, customers are asked to type in their authorisation details - giving critical information to fraudsters.

Once account numbers, PIN and login password details have been obtained the fraudsters can easily steal money from the innocent user's bank.

"Wealthy investors around the world have always regarded private banks in Switzerland as a safe haven for their fortunes," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "We are seeing a steady increase in the number of 'phishing' attacks designed to steal money from innocent computer users. People who bank online should be aware of this kind of fraud and ensure they don't find themselves with empty wallets."

Other "phishing" attempts have included bogus emails claiming to come from a number of banks including Wells Fargo, Nationwide, NatWest, BarclaysWestpac and Halifax.

Sophos PureMessage can help prevent workers from receiving email scams such as the one described above by providing a consolidated defence against spam and viruses, as well as helping enforce a corporate messaging policy.

About Sophos

More than 100 million users in 150 countries rely on Sophos as the best protection against complex threats and data loss. Sophos is committed to providing complete security solutions that are simple to deploy, manage, and use and that deliver the industry's lowest total cost of ownership. Sophos offers award-winning encryption, endpoint security, web, email, mobile and network security solutions backed by SophosLabs - a global network of threat intelligence centers.

Sophos is headquartered in Boston, US and Oxford, UK. More information is available at