Banks strike back at cybercriminals
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Banks strike back at cybercriminals

Unified effort to upgrade technology

Police show how cybercriminal networks work to deceive victims. (Photo: Apichit Jinakul)
Police show how cybercriminal networks work to deceive victims. (Photo: Apichit Jinakul)

The local banking industry is developing the technological infrastructure to prevent cybercrime in the hard-hit financial sector, according to an adviser to a key anti-fraud body.

This year the financial sector has reported 308 ransomware cases, followed by manufacturing with 182 cases, telecom with 70 cases, healthcare 42 cases, and government 41 cases.

Thailand's top 10 industries affected by ransomware have tallied 1,910 cases this year, said Kitti Kosavisutte, honorary adviser to the Thailand Banking Sector Computer Emergency Response Team (TB-CERT), a group of financial institutions under the Thai Bankers' Association (TBA).

TB-CERT, in collaboration with several organisations, the government and the private sector, has been developing and upgrading security systems to prevent cybercrime. The banking industry is attentive to preventing cyber-risks on mobile banking platforms following cyber-attacks as digital banking usage increases, Mr Kitti said.

According to TBA's cybersecurity guidelines for mobile banking service, banks have embedded detection systems to reject fake mobile applications. Mobile banking users also need to accept some digital risk themselves, he said.

"Mobile banking users should download mobile apps though official operating systems such as the Play Store or App Store directly rather than apps from unknown links," said Mr Kitti.

Kitti: Avoid unknown links

He said cybercriminals usually use four tactics for digital banking crimes: urgency, misdirection, sympathy and authority. They also use social media to deceive victims using social engineering tactics. As a result, consumers and mobile banking users should not disclose their personal data, behaviour or lifestyle too much, said Mr Kitti.

He said mobile phone users should not open unknown links, install unverified apps or use unsecured phones to make financial transactions. Phone users should keep their mobile banking software fully updated to increase security.

To avoid fraudsters, users should change their personal data on mobile banking apps, use airplane mode on phones, or take advantage of banks' call centres to get suitable advice.

In addition, Mr Kitti said the TBA is setting up the Central Fraud Registry to probe financial fraud in the banking industry, especially the use of nominee deposit accounts. Banks plan to share details of such fraudulent accounts with the registry's data centre to reduce financial risks.

He said it is common for fraudsters to use nominees to open deposit accounts and conduct suspicious transactions for them. The emergency decree on preventing technology crimes, which deals with the deposit account nominee problem, was approved by the cabinet and is expected to be enforced this month.

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