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Banks Delay Transfers To Stop Phisher Thievery

The explosion in phishing scams has forced some banks to delay intrabank fund transfers - sometimes for up to a day -to stop the resulting attempts at account pillaging.

Banks are struggling to deal with phishing, a research firm says, and have taken to delaying intrabank fund transfers -- sometimes for up to a day -- to quash the account pillaging that's the result of a bank customer divulging personal information.

Gartner analysts Avivah Litan and John Pescatore, the Stamford, Conn.-based company's resident phishing and security experts, respectively, said in an online alert that several major British banks, including Barclays Bank, HBOS, Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest, are slowing intrabank payments between accounts in an attempt to combat phishing.

"The willingness of these four banks to slow down internal transfers shows that they take this threat seriously," said Litan and Pescatore. "It also shows that current back-end security systems are inadequate to handle the phishing threat, and that banks may be resorting to manual examination of some transactions."

Banks that don't take strong measures against phishing risk losing customers' trust, the analyst pair said, which could translate into higher costs if banks are forced to return to more expensive mail and telephone for support and transactions.

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