CYBER attacks on AIB customers have increased significantly as thousands of customers are targeted in phishing scams netting fraudsters thousands of euro.
The number of attacks aimed at AIB customers last month is almost equal to the total experienced last year.
Ireland’s largest bank said there were between 40 to 50 phishing attacks last month compared with 75 in 2008.
Head of eChannel development at AIB, Sean Jevens said this was a “significant spike” in attacks and he urged customers to be vigilant. In the first half of the year, there has been 300 attacks on AIB.
AIB defines an attack as the sending of an email to what could be thousands of customers asking them for personal details. The email will often direct the email account holder to a fake website that looks almost identical to the legitimate one.
One of the latest attacks targeting AIB customers threatens to close the internet banking account of customers unless they enter their personal details.
Mr Jevens said the number of customers that fall victim to these attacks is very small but he said the attacks are playing on percentages. “They could send the email to 10,000 people and hope that 40% of these would be an AIB customer and then hope that 1% of these will answer.”
He said AIB has 600,000 internet banking customers and the number of people that have fallen victim has been in the tens.
Mr Jevens refused to give details on the level of financial hit customers have experienced. “Customers must be vigilant and remember that AIB will never email a customer asking for personal details,” he said.
AIB have employed a specialist company to close down these phishing sites and has asked customers to forward any fraudulent emails to firstname.lastname@example.org.
AIB said these cyber criminals are not individual hobbyists but well organised criminal networks.
It recommends that consumers be alert when banking online and encourages them to protect themselves from attacks by not clicking on any links, not opening attachments and not providing codes from the codecard.
“The internet has become a critical way for our customers to bank with us and we are continuing our investment to allow them manage their money at a time and place they choose. However, as with all banking channels we need customers to be alert to stay safe when banking online,” said Mr Jevens.
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