Don’t get cheated online find out how….

November 4, 2008

Case in Mumbai– A Mumbai-based lawyer, Manjiri Kulkarni, became a victim of an online fraud around nine months ago. She received an email from ‘her bank’, saying that since they were installing new servers, her details needed to be updated. The mail also warned that in case she failed to respond, her net banking facility would be deactivated.

Kulkarni provided all the details asked, including her PAN card and driving licence numbers, addresses and date of birth. A month later, she found that Rs 96,000 was missing from her account. When Kulkarni contacted her bank, she realised that she had been a victim of phishing.

“Almost 80 per cent of online banking frauds occur through phishing after customers give their details on receiving dubious emails,” said Jayapradha Bharathan, IT officer at Punjab National Bank. The bank had faced a similar fraud last week when a group of hackers siphoned off Rs 1.66 crore (Rs 16.6 million) from a Noida-based businessman’s account.

Types of frauds

Phishing: Here, when a customer clicks on the website address in the email, s/he is taken to a webpage that appears similar to the bank’s net banking website. The user is then asked to provide details such as account number, username, password, credit card or debit card number and other personal details. Hackers use these information to transfer money to bogus bank accounts.

Vishing: In this case, the victim gets a phone call, where an automated recording says that an illegal transaction has taken place on his/ her credit card and that the user should call on a given number. When the cardholder calls back, a computer-generated voice tells him/ her to verify the account with details such as the 16-digit credit card number. A customer-care executive attends to the call and asks for more details, pretending to assist the person in blocking the account.

How to avoid phishing and vishing

  1. Never give out passwords, pin and other personal details to anyone or any website
  2. Never respond to emails that request personal information
  3. When you access your netbanking facility, check for security certificates
  4. Change your password often
  5. Do not access netbanking or do online shopping in cyber cafes
  6. While shopping online, buy only from websites you trust
  7. Pay using credit card for online transactions

Dos and don’ts

Security experts say the first rule to avoid falling into a hacker’s trap is to never give out passwords, pin and other personal details to anyone or any website. Never respond to emails that seek personal information.

When you access your net-banking facility, check for security certificates. On the bottom right hand side of the page, on the status bar, there will be an icon, usually yellow in colour that looks like a lock. This is called padlock. If you double click on this, you will get information on the security certificate. In a forged site, this icon is absent.

Of late, banks have been providing a virtual keyboard too. This helps avoid any software from storing the information that you have typed using the keyboard.

Change your password often.

Do not access net-banking or do online shopping in cyber cafes as these places may have software that can track your activity.

While shopping online, buy from websites you trust. If it is a new website, research on the company’s history before making a transaction. Give your credit card number only if you are making a purchase, never to verify your identity.

Pay using credit card for online transactions. Avoid payment through net banking.

What if you are a victim?

Though prevention is better than cure, if you have fallen prey to online fraud, there isn’t much you can do.

“Banks do not take responsibility for a loss that occurs due to negligence on the part of the customer,” said a senior official with a private bank on condition of anonymity. To top it, registering a complaint of such a fraud can be an excruciating exercise.

Source: Rediff


Recession: Side Effects

November 4, 2008

These are tough times for job seekers and employees across the world. As the corporate world reels under a economic recession, more and more people are losing their jobs in the US.

However, in India, IT majors Tata Consultancy Services and Wipro have denied any job cuts, stating that the recession would not hit the IT industry.

Goldman Sachs plans to cut 3,300 jobs as the crisis worsens in the United States. The company also reported a 70 per cent fall in its third quarter profit. The total revenues for the quarter dropped 51 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Nissan Motor Co is planning to slash 2,500 jobs abroad and 1,000 temporary positions in Japan as it plans to reduce vehicle production this year by 200,000 units in Europe, Japan and North America.

Motorola Inc has decided to cut its global workforce by laying off 3,000 employees. Motorola has reported a quarterly net loss of nearly $400 million.

Motorola has also lowered its forecast for the rest of the year and said cost-cutting moves would help the company save about $800 million next year. The company had 66,000 employees by the end of 2007.

The company has sacked 13,000 staffers since January 2007. Motorola now has a tough battle ahead with strong competitors like Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson.

The Walt Disney Co is also planning job cuts. However, the company is tightlipped about the restructuring plans.

American auto giant Chrysler in its latest round of job cuts said it would slash 1,825 jobs. The company has incurred losses of $1 billion in the first half of the year.

Xerox Corp has slashed 3,000 jobs due to a fall in demand from US companies.

The company has slashed 8,800 jobs since 2005, including 1,500 so far this year. The falling profits have further deteriorated the company’s financial position.

Fujifilm announced that it would cut 1,250 jobs at its printer unit, Fuji Xerox Co as demand dropped. The company has also reported a 25% drop in profits in 6 months.

Source: Rediff


FDA announces several approvals

November 4, 2008

FDA as the agency announced several approvals. Here’s the run-down:

  • The FDA has approved Pfizer and UCB’s Toviaz extended-release tablets for the treatment of overactive bladder (OAB) with symptoms of urge urinary incontinence, urgency, and urinary frequency. UCB gets an undisclosed milestone payment as a result of the approval.
  • The agency has granted approval for Akorn’s ANDA for Adenosine Injection USP for supraventricular tachycardia in cardiac patients.
  • Cephalon announced that Treanda has been approved for the treatment of patients with indolent B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that has progressed during or within six months of treatment with rituximab or a rituximab-containing regimen.
  • Salix Pharmaceuticals won marketing approval for Apriso, a drug indicated for the maintenance of remission of ulcerative colitis (UC) in adults.

Source: FierceBiotech