The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Theft alert on Web deals

Six cyber crime arrests in less than a year, capped by the high-profile snaring of Sushant Chandak — Calcutta sure is conforming to global standards when it comes to Net nuisance.

“We arrested one person in the Bally area, who bought jewellery worth Rs 60,000 with the credit card number of a businessman on an online shopping site,” said an officer on yet another case of scamsters targeting home users.

So, think twice before keying in your credit card numbers for an online purchase or a banking transaction on the Internet and watch out for the prying eyes following your web footprints.

This is a global phenomenon, warns the latest Internet security report prepared by software major Symantec.

According to the report, home users are the target of 86 per cent of attacks by cyber-criminals.

“As home users are less likely to have established security measures in place, they are targeted by attackers for identity theft and fraud,” said David Hall of Symantec, a $5-billion company that sells Internet security software under the brand name of Norton.

The recent boom in business-to-commerce or B2C transaction volume — expected to double from last year’s Rs 1,180 crore in a year’s time — has become a boon for hackers who fraudulently lay their hands on credit card numbers and bank account details.

Phishers, as they are called in the tech tongue, swamp you with emails, pop-up messages and even small programmes to find out secret details from computers.

According to the report, based on data collected from over 40,000 sensors in 180 countries, over 157,477 unique “phishing” attempts were detected in six months.

“We face difficulty in cracking such cases, as hackers use cyber cafes to mount such attacks,” pointed out a police officer.

With more and more on-line fraud cases being reported, the awareness to have a safe system at home has increased. “The use of security software is growing rapidly, about 100 per cent per quarter, which means 400 per cent per year,” said Anil Bader of Optima Infotech, a computer shop on Park Street.

Last month, Symantec launched a range of new Norton products, which are fast moving off the shelves.

But installing virus-busters is not enough, as “phishers” have a host of ploys to beat filtering technologies.

“Even those who buy legal anti-viruses do not update them regularly or worse, don’t even know how to use them,” said Sanjay Chordia of Systematix Media, a computer shop in central Calcutta, stressing the need for a safe and updated system.

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