eCompany launches awareness initiative on phishing threat

DUBAI — eCompany, Etisalat's one-stop e-powerhouse Business Unit that provides Internet services and ICT solutions yesterday announced the launch of a new awareness initiative for its users to educate them about the threat from phishing.



By A Staff Reporter

Published: Sun 26 Jun 2005, 10:30 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 4:45 PM

Phishing refers to fraudulent spam emails and web sites disguised as trusted brands intended to trick consumers into divulging personal and financial information, which is then used for identity and financial theft. With e-commerce growing 56 percent in 2004 to $150 billion in revenue globally, phishing is the latest technique developed by criminals to defraud consumers.

eCompany will be posting various measures consumers can take to recognise and guard themselves against phishing scams on its web site at www.ecompany.ae/security/phishing. Consumers can also visit the feedback form at www.ecompany.ae/feedback to register a complaint for phishing incidents. Additionally, they can also call the Internet helpdesk at 800-6-100 for assistance.

Global research house TowerGroup estimates that the number of phishing attacks will rise to over 86,000 by 2005 globally from 31,000 in 2004 with direct fraud losses from phishing scams totalling $137.1 million globally in 2004. A phishing scam sent by e-mail may start with con artists who send millions of e-mail messages that appear to come from popular web sites or sites that a consumer trusts, like their bank or credit card company. The e-mail messages, pop-up windows, and the Web sites they link to appear official enough that they deceive many people into believing that they are legitimate. Unsuspecting people too often respond to these requests for their credit card numbers, passwords, account information, or other personal data.

In order to identify a phishing scam, consumers should trust their instincts and look out for a few phrases which are common among such scams. One such message is "Verify your account." Businesses should not ask a consumer to send passwords, login names, or other personal information through e-mail. Consumers should regard with suspicion a message that asks for personal information even if the request looks legitimate.

Another common technique employed is to send a message with the header "If you don't respond within 48 hours, your account will be closed." Phishing e-mail may be polite and accommodating in tone, but these messages often convey a sense of urgency so that consumers respond immediately without thinking. Phishing e-mail may threaten to close or suspend a user's account or may even say that their response is required because the account may have been compromised.

eCompany has already deployed a powerful anti-spam solution as a proactive measure to reduce spam which is a source of phishing. Powered by Symantec's Brightmail technology, the Anti Spam Plus service delivers protection to Al Shamil broadband subscribers by incorporating a multi-layered spam prevention technique that leverages more than 20 filtering technologies and proprietary methods for the best protection in the industry.


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