All You Need To Know About Different Types of Cyber Threats

21 Jan 2021

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Our lives are increasingly going digital. We can shop, pay bills and even complete banking transactions online. While the Internet has made our life so much better, we must use it responsibly to ensure we are safe and secure. While banks take every precaution to ensure our safety, we should also be aware of the various cyber security threats. Let’s look at the most common types of cyber security threats.

Computer Viruses

Also known as malware, a computer virus is the most common type of cyber threat. It is essentially a program that is written to alter how your computer operates, without your knowledge or permission. Once it infects your computer, the virus can cause significant damage. You can, however, prevent the virus from infecting your machines by installing good anti-virus software, using non-pirated and secure software and downloading and sharing files from authenticated websites only. Also remember to keep your operating systems and programs updated.

Spyware threat

Spyware is among the most serious type of attacks in cyber security. A spyware is a program which monitors your online activities without your consent. It also installs programs that capture your personal information which can be misused. Again, a good anti-virus and anti-spyware program will help. Also, avoid clicking on advertisements of sites that you don’t recognise and log out of your accounts after every transaction.

Online phishing

Being one of the growing types of cyber threats, online phishing is a massive scam. It had become such a menace that the government released advertisements to help people recognise its own sites. A phishing scam is conducted by people masquerading as trustworthy individuals who attempt to steal your sensitive personal or financial information via fraudulent emails and SMSs. But remember, no bank ever calls to ask you for your bank account number, ATM PIN, or card numbers. So, if you get a call, email or SMS asking for your bank details; it is most likely a phishing attack. Other types of phising attacks include sending you links that resemble your bank’s website and then asking you for personal data as input.

Hackers

You cannot list the types of cyber-attacks without the mention of hackers. Like in the case of phishing, hacking is a security threat that involves people, not computers. Hackers illegally gain access to other people’s computers – once they gain access, they could change, steal and even destroy information. Hackers could gain access to your bank details, lock you out of your system and even steal your identity. It is important to remember, however, that not all hackers are criminals. Many organizations use ethical hackers to test system vulnerabilities.

Vishing

Vishing (voice or VoIP phishing) is an electronic fraud tactic in which individuals are tricked into revealing critical financial or personal information to unauthorized entities. A vishing attack can be conducted by voice email, VoIP (voice over IP), landline or cellular telephone. It is the telephone related scam equivalent of phishing.

Pharming

Pharming is a fraudulent practice where a fraudster installs malicious code on a personal computer or server. This code then redirects any clicks user makes on a website to another fraudulent Website without your consent or knowledge.  Pharming has become major concern to businesses hosting e-commerce and online banking websites. The criminal can either compromise your computer by installing malicious software in it, or redirect the traffic by infecting the server connected to your computer. Once confidential information has been entered at a fraudulent website, criminals have the information and identity theft can be the end result.

Trojan horse

A Trojan horse or Trojan is a type of malware that is often disguised as legitimate software.

In the Greek Mythological story of the Trojan War, the Greeks, unable to break through the walls of Troy to conquer the city, hid inside a giant wooden horse which they left outside the city gates; the Trojans, thinking it was an offering to the gods, brought it inside, and the Greek soldiers, led by Odysseus, emerged at night to destroy the city and kill its inhabitants. Like Odysseus, cyber-attackers hope that you'll be fooled by a tempting piece of bait to let malicious code inside your network.

Baiting

Baiting is one of the simplest social engineering techniques used by cyber criminals.

In this attack, the attacker takes advantage of human’s curiosity or greed by luring the person to do something of what attacker can take benefit to gain confidential information. Attacker may leave malware-infected flash drives or similar devices in a place easily accessible, hoping that this hardware will be inserted into network-connected computers as the means to spread malicious code.

Final note:

As it is apparent, the above-mentioned cyber-attack types are indeed serious. However, with a few preventive measures, you can save yourself from becoming victims of these thefts. Remember to follow the necessary online and offline best practices to keep your systems protected. For instance, avoid saving crucial bank and social media passwords anywhere which is easily accessible to others. Also, refrain from using public Wi-Fi networks, especially while conducting financial transactions like buying things online. Investing in original software and anti-virus can go a long way in protecting your computer systems.

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    22 October, 2021

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    03 October, 2021

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7 Safe Online Banking Tips You Must Know

Indian banks are gradually edging toward having most of their processes online. From sending money to paying bills and even investing, stepping away from traditional methods has become necessary. Though almost half of India’s population have accepted the change to online and mobile banking, many are still hesitant. The main concern is internet safety, which is valid; however, it shouldn’t hold anyone back from transacting. Here are safe online banking tips you can follow to enjoy a seamless and convenient banking experience:
It All Begins with Your Passwords
The cardinal rule for transacting online or via your smartphone is, you must have a strong password and change it regularly. This is one of the most critical and necessary safe internet banking tips. Use random numbers, symbols and letters that only you will remember. Most banks will recommend a combination of all three and some will even prompt if your password isn’t strong enough. Using upper- and lower-case letters help too. Stay away from familiar things like birthdays, names, house numbers etc. Finally, do not share your passwords with anyone, no matter what. Your passwords are unique and meant only for you.
Do not save passwords / credentials on browser and/or any apps for login.
Keep a Close Watch on Your Accounts:
Monitor your accounts’ activities frequently, especially if you transact a lot. It is one of the few tips for safe internet banking of which we become careless. You have to check your bank balances and monthly statements for any debits that appear suspicious. Reach out to your bank in case you find such or similar transactions.
Use a Secure Internet Connection
To prevent anyone from misusing your private information, one of the safe online banking tips is to use a secure, internet connection. Make sure that the wi-fi is password-protected and not free; if you’re travelling, connect with your smartphone’s hotspot. You can even choose a private browser to access your bank’s netbanking platform.
Get Notified
One of the safe internet banking tips is to turn on your bank’s notifications from your mobile phone. You can also opt for receiving SMS alerts. Many banks allow you to customise notifications and alerts, e.g. you can choose specific triggers like in case your account balance goes below or above a particular limit.
Sign-Out, Every Time
Once your netbanking or mobile banking session is over, remember to sign out. This is one of the tips for safe internet banking that few are aware. Uncheck the ‘Keep me signed in’ box and log out. In fact, as an added precaution, clear your browser history and cache after you log off.
Sift the Real From Fake
Phishing and calling scams have increased over the last few years. Among the safe online banking tips, you may already know of this one. Your account information, passwords, card CVV numbers, OTPs etc. are confidential. Never entertain or answer an e-mail or call that requests for any or all of these details, unless you have initiated the transaction.
Do not click on the any link provided in the email / SMS message etc. Always type the bank website URL in the address link of browser to access your account.

All You Need To Know About UPI

With the booming Digital Payment Ecosystem, India’s Financial Sector is soaring new heights. The newer payment models, sophistication in the acceptance infrastructure multiplied with customer’s need of convenience coupled with reliability has given an unrivalled thrust to the economy. In this digital age where mobile applications & payment systems are ruling over the masses, Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is placed in the top-drawer of all payment models.
Not only the ease but also the robustness of UPI has enticed users from all strata and demographics of the society to use this remarkable application.
What is UPI?
Unified Payments Interface is a real-time payment system that channels multiple bank accounts into a single application mobile application. This concept was developed by National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) for facilitating instant fund transfer, merchant payments and collection of funds. The unique feature of this application is the “Peer to Peer” collect request which can be scheduled as per desire and convenience. The application offers a two factor authentication (2FA) which enhances the security and protects the interest of the customers. Customer will create Login PIN as well as UPI PIN in UPI. Customer has to use Debit Card credentials like Last 6 digits of the card and card expiry and create the UPI PIN by authenticating the same with OTP received on the registered Mobile Number.
Digital on-boarding process in BHIM Baroda Pay UPI APP

Please go to Google Play Store (Android Users) or iOS AppStore (iOS Users) for downloading - BHIM Baroda Pay UPI application.
Post complete download, the application will install on the device.
Click on the installed application to register and accept all app permissions to start the registration process.
Enter your registered mobile number and select the SIM Slot in which your registered mobile number is placed.
A silent SMS will be sent from your registered mobile number. Make sure sufficient mobile balance is available for sending silent SMS.
After mobile number verification, application prompts to enter name and proceed.
Select the Bank where your Bank account exists under the same registered mobile number.
Post selection of account, application will display the list of all eligible accounts for UPI.
Select any one / all the accounts and create a VPA (UPI ID).
Create login PIN, select security question and create answer.
Accept the Terms and Conditions and proceed, which completes the registration in BHIM Baroda Pay UPI.
Post registration, generate UPI PIN to be used for transaction.
In the home screen under added accounts, UPI PIN status will be displayed (Set / Not Set)
Click on the three dots icon under desired account.
Select the option -> Set UPI PIN. On the next screen-> Enter last 6 digits of debit card issued in the same account.
Enter the card expiry and proceed.
An OTP will be received on registered mobile number. The same will be auto read by the application. In case of devices where auto read facility is by default disabled, manually key in the OTP.
Now create UPI PIN and reconfirm the same.
UPI PIN is successfully set. Now you are ready to do UPI transactions…….

UPI for Collection Purpose
Merchants can use UPI channel for receiving / collection of payment from their customers. Customer can pay to the merchant either by sending money to merchant’s UPI ID or by scanning the QR code displayed at merchant location/ website.
Bank’s UPI platform is having capability to provide customized UPI based payment solution to merchants. Bank’s UPI platform supports low integration and transaction cost to merchant to enable UPI as a payment mode for transaction in addition to debitcard, credit card, wallet and net banking to accept the payment from the customer in convenient, easy and hassle free manner.
Risks, Vigilance & Prevention
The emerging digital payment channel comes with its own fair share of risks. Recent events give insights to the lack of awareness and negligence on the part of the customer which has resulted in huge loss of money to the customers. From Vishing to suspicious app download to spoofing, the socially engineered techniques to dupe customers has evolved drastically. Major Modus Operandi are as under
:

UPI SMS Spoofing Fraud
UPI Collect Request Fraud
UPI AnyDesk Fraud

Branches and staff are required to educate customers regarding the risks associated with the application used. More the clarity about the product, less will the unauthorized transactions in the accounts. As it is rightly said, “With more power comes more responsibility” and this is true in case of a payment channel so convenient and easy to use, UPI.
Significance & Future
UPI as a collection medium is growing drastically. The recent pandemic has helped to propel the transaction and usage of the application as it promotes contactless payments and with Government bringing in key initiatives driven by Digital mode, this product is said to shatter all known barriers and emerge as the most used payment mode in the ecosystem.
The interoperability is vital to facilitate transactions in a financial world of different account types. This has been made possible by the most advanced form of digital payment i.e. Unique Payment Interface (UPI) which justifies its name - “UNIQUE”.
UPI is a game-changer for Bank as an organization and which is laid out insightfully can consolidate Bank’s brand and enhance acceptance & penetration among masses and classes.

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