Visa joins drive against phishing

The world’s leading payment brand is building on its risk management efforts by joining the first global anti-phishing aggregation service.

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By  Shankar Sharma Published  March 9, 2005

Visa International is building on its extensive risk management efforts by joining the first worldwide anti-phishing aggregation service, in an effort to better protect cardholders from phishing attacks. Microsoft, eBay and Paypal have also joined the Anti-Phishing Working Group, a pan-industrial and law enforcement association focused on eliminating fraud resulting from phishing and email spoofing. Phishing is an act of fraud involving attempts by con artists to steal internet users’ identites’ by sending out e-mails or links to web pages that imitate popular websites, which ask for personal identifiable information. Reporting and blocking phishing web sites offers greater protection to online customers, who can be at risk of disclosing passwords, credit card numbers or bank information. Visa takes this threat very seriously, placing customer education at the forefront of their efforts. “Visa can play a key role in stopping this crime before it happens and in maintaining global consumer confidence online,” says Kamran Siddiqi, general manager Middle East, Visa International. The new service, provided by WholeSecurity, allows Visa to report confirmed phishing sites to a database called the Phish Report Network. This will help participants like internet service providers (ISP’s) or user-facing security vendors to obtain the aggregated lists and incorporate them into various software, e-mail, and browser services to help protect consumers against online fraud. Visa member banks impacted by phishing sites or with the ability to protect end users can participate in the Phish Report Network and help contain the phishing threat and maintain consumer confidence in online banking and Internet commerce. Customers are advised to use antivirus software, install personal firewalls and only use reputable sites. These can be checked by a padlock symbol displayed at the bottom of the browser screen or with a URL address beginning with ‘httpS’. E-mails purporting to be from the bank requesting password or personal details should not be replied to either.

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