Phishing for Identities

March 31, 2004


Boston, MA, USA  March 31, 2004

: The Latest Threat to Financial Institutions & Their Customers

Phishing becomes the latest threat to financial institutions — exasperating the ills of identity theft and eroding consumer trust.

Over the past few years, financial institutions have made strides towards fighting identity theft. Many are taking the necessary steps to require and authenticate customer information and intentions. They have also encouraged their customers to protect their log-in information and change their passwords frequently. However, many of these tactics have been negated by the many consumers falling victim to the recent surge in phishing attacks.

Phishing has become the latest threat to financial institutions. This form of fraud is designed to exploit customer information and inadvertently wreak havoc on the systems and reputations of these firms. In short, phishing is a way of extracting personal information from consumers and corporations through the use of imposter emails and Web sites. Once the information is obtained, it may be used to commit identity theft, card fraud, or many other forms of bank fraud. Thus far in 2004, more than 450 phishing attacks have been made against Internet service providers (ISPs), retailers, financial institutions and other industries.

In a new report, " : The Latest Threat to Financial Institutions & Their Customers," Celent examines the latest wave of fraud flooding the inboxes of millions of consumers, as well as the potential impact to financial institutions. Recommendations are also provided to assist financial institutions in tackling this problem.

"Phishing has become the latest bout of fraud for many financial institutions. This fraud is causing many financial institutions around the world to step up their measures to not only protect their customers, but their employees from divulging confidential information they shouldn’t," commented Ariana-Michele Moore, an analyst in Celent’s retail banking practice and author of the report.

The report is aimed at helping fraud managers and IT executives understand this latest threat and how the steps and solutions they may deploy to reduce the potential impact.

A for this 31-page report is available online.

of Celent Communications' Retail Banking and Retail Securities & Investments research services can download the report electronically by clicking on the icon to the left.  Non-members should contact for more information.


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Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

Media Contacts

North America
Michele Pace
Tel: +1 212 345 1366

Europe (London)
Chris Williams
Tel: +44 (0)782 448 3336

Asia (Tokyo)
Yumi Nagaoka
Tel.: +81 3 3500 3023

Table of Contents


Boston, MA, USA March 31, 2004

Return to report Abstract


  Phishing: The Latest Wave of Fraud 5
  Concern No. Two: Corporate Phishing 8
  How Spoofing is Done 8
  A Reality For Many 10
  Associated Costs 14
  Detecting Schemes 17
  Weighing The Options 20
  BrightMail 22
  Cyota 23
  Cyveillance 24
  Envisional 25
  Passmark Security 26
  Tumbleweed Communications 27

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