Friday, August 13, 2010

In the US - New Scheme Uses Denial-of-Service Attacks to Access Consumer Accounts

Courtesy of Florence Klein, Founder, Published August 11, 2010

By now, it's more than clear—con artists never stop coming up with new ways to separate you from your money. Here's another scam to watch out for, as detailed in the following press release from the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3):

Fraudulent Telephone Calls Allowing Fraudsters Access to Consumer Financial and Brokerage Accounts

The FBI Newark Division recently released a warning concerning a new scheme using telecommunications denial-of-service (TDoS) attacks.

The FBI determined fraudsters compromised victim accounts and contacted financial institutions to change victim profile information (i.e., email addresses, telephone numbers, bank account numbers).

The TDoS attacks used automated dialing programs and multiple accounts to overwhelm victims' cell phones and land lines with thousands of calls. When victims answered the calls, they heard dead air (nothing on the other end), an innocuous recorded message, an advertisement, or a telephone sex menu. Calls were typically brief but so numerous that victims changed their phone numbers to terminate the attack.

These TDoS attacks were used as a diversion to prevent financial and brokerage institutions from verifying victim account changes and transactions, thus affording fraudsters enough time to transfer funds from victim brokerage and financial accounts.

Protection from TDoS attacks and other types of fraud requires consumers to be vigilant and proactive. In Newark’s public service announcement (PSA), consumers are reminded to protect themselves as follows:
Implement security measures for all financial accounts by placing fraud alerts with the major credit bureaus if you believe they were targeted by a TDoS attack or other form of fraud.
Use strong passwords for all financial accounts, and change them regularly.
Obtain and review your annual credit report for fraudulent activity.

If you are a target of a TDoS attack, immediately contact your financial institutions, notify your telephone provider, and promptly file a report at the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). The IC3 complaint database links complaints to assist in referrals to the appropriate law enforcement agency for case consideration. The complaint information is also used to identity emerging trends and patterns.

To learn more about the FBI’s role in addressing these attacks, please refer to the FBI Newark Division's PSA dated May 11, 2010.

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