Friday, 28 March 2014

Woman, Son Held For Credit Card Fraud

AHMEDABAD: A team of city crime branch officials arrested a mother-son duo on Wednesday and sought one-day remand of them on Thursday in connection with a fraud of Rs 62.78 lakh through online transactions.

Police, however, are yet to probe the exact role the duo has played and other accused involved in the incident. According to the crime branch officials, a US national had registered a complaint with the US law enforcement agencies about the payment made from his credit card that he had not used. When the account in which the money was transferred to was tracked to Ahmedabad, the city crime branch was informed about the incident. During their investigation, the bank accounts used were found in the names of Anuj Jasani, 22, and his mother Harsha, 46, residents of Venus Park Land in Vejalpur.
 
"Anuj is a sub-agent for Travel Boutique, an online travel portal. He had two accounts in his and his mother's name for the business. According to their statement, the incident took place when he came in contact with a US national, at the moment identified as Fortuner Wood, in March 2013. Wood had booked some tickets with Anuj. During the transaction, Wood allegedly offered Anuj a lucrative deal where he can book the tickets for the US departures by sitting in Ahmedabad. He promised him a good business and said that he would have to pay him a percentage as commission," said a crime branch official.
 
Anuj allegedly booked 65 air tickets between March 16 and April 3 last year that cost Rs 62.78 lakh. The payment for all the tickets was made through an American Express card. The money was transferred in two bank accounts and the agent code of Anuj on the web portal. When the card holder came to know of the major transactions, he got alarmed and informed the bank and the bank launched an inquiry and tracked the payment to India.
 
"Investigation is still on. We are yet to ascertain the mode of payment, what happed to the money, identity of Wood and how he used the victim's credit card. We have sought remand to get some more details from Anuj about Wood and the bank accounts used. It is likely that the duo from the city might have been used by the international syndicate," said the official.

Credit Sudhaar is India's first Credit Health management & improvement company whose goal is to help clients to Restore, Enhance and Protect their Credit and make them credit healthy.

CS IdentityShield helps you to Monitor, Protect and Recover your Identity from multiple risks.

Courtesy : Times of India

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Bangalore: Oh Phish! Many Biting The Bait

About 20% Indians claim to be victims of phishing attacks, according to Microsoft Computing Safer Index, a study that reveals impact of poor online safety behaviour.
 
Released on account of the Safer Internet Day on February 11, the study claims that 12% of Indians surveyed say they have suffered identity theft at an average cost of Rs 7,500.
 
The survey was carried out among 10,500 consumers globally in the March-May 2013 period. It asked consumers to share their online experiences.
 
According to the survey, the annual worldwide impact of phishing and other forms of identity theft could be as high as $5 billion, while the cost of repairing damage to people’s online reputation was at nearly $6 billion.
 
The internet touches our daily lives for almost everything, from communicating, to work, to shopping to paying bills, says Prakash Kumar, national technology office, Microsoft India.
 
“But how cautious are we about monitoring our online presence, and taking note of our own vulnerabilities? There are many things that can be done to stay safer online,” says Kumar.
 
Microsoft asks netizens to protect their online activities by visiting websites that provide a range of hints and guidance for guarding devices, online accounts, performing sensitive transactions over secured networks, taking charge of online reputation and protecting social circles.
 
In Bangalore, collegemates Adithya Naresh and Yogesh S, students from the Amrita School of Engineering have started a hackers club in their college called Hacs (hackers for applied cyber security).
 
“The objective is to expose our classmates and juniors to the scope of cyber security and create awareness. We also intend to hold a techfest in this segment early next year,” say Adithya and Yogesh.
 
Tips to stay safe online
Use a unique four-digit PIN for mobile devices and strong passwords for online accounts.
Perform sensitive transactions over secured networks. This includes paying bills, banking or shopping.
Take charge of your online reputation. Know what information about you is on the internet, reevaluate it, remove unwanted content.
Protect your social circles. Use privacy settings to manage the information you share and with whom you share it. Be selective about what you post and accepting friends.
 
What is phishing?
Phishing is the act of attempting to acquire information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by masking as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Communications from social websites, auction sites, banks, online payment processors are commonly used to lure unsuspecting people.
 
Rich haul
India faces 1,200 phishing attacks each month, as per industry estimates, while globally, 1.25 lakh phishing attacks were identified in the third quarter of 2013. Losses owing to phishing globally were about $1.66 billion.
Taking serious steps towards setting up a strong cyber security strategy, the central government in July declared its first National Cyber Security Policy, aimed at creating five lakh professionals by 2015.
Currently, there are only about 556 trained cyber security personnels in the government sector in India, as per KPMG estimates. This is minuscule compared with 1.25 lakh in China, and 91,080 in the US.

Credit Sudhaar is India's first Credit Health management & improvement company whose goal is to help clients to Restore, Enhance and Protect their Credit and make them credit healthy.

CS IdentityShield helps you to Monitor, Protect and Recover your Identity from multiple risks.

Courtesy : DNA

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

India Is Still In Infancy In The Field Of Cyber Crimes: Expert

India is still in infancy in the field of cyber crimes and police, prosecutors and lawyers are not well-versed in handling them as well as digital evidence, a Cyber crime expert said here today.
 
"Information Technology Act in India is of recent origin and the officials like police, prosecutors and lawyers are not well versed in handling cyber crimes as well as digital evidence, since these have recently emerged and the younger generation is more tech savvy," said Dr J R Gaur, Principal Scientific Officer (Life Sciences), Bureau of Police Research and Development while speaking at seminar at Amity University.
 
He said the pattern of crime has changed over a period of time and the commission of crime by scientific methods makes it difficult for the executioners to bring perpetrators behind the bars.
 
"In cyber crimes, India is still in infancy. ATM frauds are increasing. Effective forensic investigation at the scene of crime can bring criminals to book. The importance of the knowledge of forensic evidences specially traces of hair, fibre etc found at the site, have to be ingrained in the officials dealing with cyber crimes," he said.
 
Stressing that banks need to take steps to install modern security and vigilance gadgets and equipments including the CCTV cameras in the ATMs since most of the times, they record low resolution images which are difficult to identify once enlarged.
 
Addressing the seminar, Rakshit Tandon-Advisor, Cyber Crime Cell, Gurgaon Police and CEO A&R Info Solutions Pvt said there has been a significant rise of 60 per cent in Cyber Crimes from 2011 to 2012 in NCR.
 
"Maximum number of perpetrators in cyber crimes are very young, who are unaware of law and proudly proclaim themselves as 'Ethical Hackers'," said Tandon.
 
He said that in 2011, over 1,630 perpetrators for cyber crime were arrested and out of these, 928 were college going students and over 65 were school going children.
 
Stressing that "cyber laws in India needs transformation, he said at present, under Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008, the accused is punished for imprisonment, which may extend to three years or with fine, which may extend to five lakh rupees or both, irrespective of the magnitude of the crime committed.
 
"Cyber Laws have to be made stringent to restrict youngsters from indulging into them," said Tandon.

Credit Sudhaar is India's first Credit Health management & improvement company whose goal is to help clients to Restore, Enhance and Protect their Credit and make them credit healthy.

CS IdentityShield helps you to Monitor, Protect and Recover your Identity from multiple risks.

Courtesy : DNA

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

25 Percent Loan Seekers Under 30 Years Of Age: Cibil

MUMBAI: There has been a huge rise in the number of people under 30 years of age seeking credit in the last five years, according to credit information provider Cibil report. While those under 30 years constituted just around 7 percent of the new credit applicants in 2008 and the same has grown to over 25 percent now, the Cibil report said.
 
Interestingly, eagerness shown by youth in getting indebted comes at a time when people have been complaining about bleak times on the economic front due to falling growth, which also led to some job losses, the report said. Till FY 2008-09, the economy was doing very well and the same has now plummeted and logging even a 5 percent growth is also seemed to be an uphill task this fiscal, it said.
 
Cibil further said it could be noted that the demographics have undergone a radical shift in the past decade, with the country getting more "younger", i.e. The percentage of working age population (between 15 and 35) growing rapidly. The percentage of those under 40 years applying for their first credit has gone up to 60 percent in 2014, from the 50 percent mark in 2008, the report said.
 
"Youth are driving credit growth with 60 percent of new loan applications coming from applicants, who are under 40," it said. With the economic growth facing troubles, coupled with a sense of "policy paralysis", lenders have been focusing very hard on the retail segment for growth as the project loans are not coming at all, the report said. According to the Cibil, which has completed 10 years of operations, retail credit growth has driven an increase in its credit reports usage at loan origination. The credit information company said in the last five years, bulk of the growth has come from personal loans and two wheeler loan segments, followed by home loans.
 
Cibil claimed the data it produces, and prudent risk management policies, have resulted in fewer delinquencies in banks' retail portfolios. It said the NPA rate of around 1.9 percent in 2010 has declined to 1.3 percent in 2013. "There is almost 30 percent reduction in NPA rates over the last four years," it said. In what it claimed is representative of the increasing usage of credit scores, Cibil said over 80 percent of the credit active population has a Cibil score of greater than 750.

Credit Sudhaar is India's first Credit Health management & improvement company whose goal is to help clients to Restore, Enhance and Protect their Credit and make them credit healthy.

Courtesy : Silicon India

Monday, 24 March 2014

'Biggest' Global Hacking Network Busted, Pune Man Held

NEW DELHI: In what is being termed as the biggest international hacking scandal, possibly involving corporates, associations and big individuals, coordinated raids were conducted by investigative agencies in India, China and Romania, on the basis of intelligence from Federal Bureau of Investigation about the "organised hacking" happening in three countries and others. In India, the Central Bureau of Investigation conducted raids at four places including Mumbai, Pune and Ghaziabad and arrested the alleged mastermind hacker in India - Amit Vikram Tiwari (31), son of a former army colonel, said sources. 
 
Interestingly, the controversial cricket league - Indian Premier League - is back in news again with the hacking scandal. According to highly placed sources, people connected to the IPL had approached Tiwari for hacking into the some accounts but they reportedly had a dispute over money after which work was not reportedly completed. CBI is investigating the IPL connection with the hacking. Officials refused to divulge details but hinted that some people associated with the tournament wanted high-level hacking done. 
 
The primary investigations have revealed that corporates, individuals and even companies - "the clients" - had approached the hackers either for marriage disputes related issues or commercial purposes, which sources described as "corporate rivalry". 
 
It is suspected that Amit Vikram Tiwari is main hacker in India but he was in touch with people abroad and master-hackers are based somewhere else. Sources also said that most of clients who approached Tiwari for hacking into email accounts and websites were foreigners. All possibilities -- national security, corporate hacking, financial fraud and hacking into government departments and secret units, are being probed by CBI in coordination with FBI. 
 
Officials say that 900 email accounts were hacked between February 2011 and February 2013 by international hackers including Tiwari and 171 accounts out of these belonged to Indians. "It has been alleged that a number of internet websites advertised that the website operators could get access to e-mail account in exchange for a fee varying from $250 to $500. The customers desirous to get unauthorized access, submitted e-mail accounts to these websites. Upon receipt of the order, as well as the e-mail addresses, the website operators gained access to such e-mail accounts and sent a proof of such access to the customers. On receipt of payment from Customers these website operators shared the password with the customers," said CBI Spokesperson Kanchan Prasad. CBI has booked Tiwari and unknown hackers for criminal conspiracy, theft of information and Section 66 of Information Technology Act. 
 
Sources say that payments were being received by hackers through western union money transfer and web-payment portal paypal.com. 
 
What has baffled investigators is that FBI tracking the scandal. It is being suspected that some accounts related to United States government and big corporates there were also hacked after which FBI tracked the hosting sites, used for hacking, in India, China and Romania. In India, Tiwari and his fellow hackers were using two primary websites - and from Pune. 
 
CBI Director Ranjit Sinha said that this was part of an international law enforcement operation and CBI had registered two FIRs against suspect operators of hacking websites. "The operation is product of an international investigation coordinated by Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Combating Organised Crime (DCCO) of Romania, CBI and the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) of China and raids in three countries were carried out simultaneously," said Sinha.
 
The FBI officials had been reportedly having regular meetings with CBI in New Delhi over past few months and a preliminary enquiry was registered last month itself and it was decided that coordinated raids would be conducted in all the countries. FBI has launched major operation against hackers located globally last year as part of which Romanian authorities have arrested a hacker known as 'Guccifer' on Thursday who was infamous for hacking into accounts of powerful leaders. It is alleged that Guccifer leaked online Colin Powell's personal emails, an unreleased script of Downton Abbey, and the paintings of George W Bush. 
 
CBI sources say they had no information about arrests made in Romania and China as it was the domain of authorities in those countries and it was only concerned with the probe in India. 
 
CBI officials, after arresting Tiwari from Pune, were bringing him to Delhi for interrogation. He has initially given some inputs about his clients and people whose accounts were hacked. Agency has recovered his computers, laptop and hard-drives for retrieving the data. 
 
Sources say that Tiwari, who had reportedly done his engineering from Pune, had been arrested in 2003 as well for trying to defraud a Mumbai based credit card processing company. Mumbai Police had arrested him for the scandal.

Credit Sudhaar is India's first Credit Health management & improvement company whose goal is to help clients to Restore, Enhance and Protect their Credit and make them credit healthy.

CS IdentityShield helps you to Monitor, Protect and Recover your Identity from multiple risks.

Courtesy : Times of India

Saturday, 22 March 2014

India Still Not Proficient In Handling Cyber Crimes: Expert

Noida: Though cyber crimes are not new to India but still the police, lawyers and prosecutor here have not become too proficient to handle them, one of the cyber crime experts said. 
 
"Information Technology Act in India is of recent origin and the officials like police, prosecutors and lawyers are not well versed in handling cyber crimes as well as digital evidence, since these have recently emerged and the younger generation is more tech savvy," said Dr J R Gaur, Principal Scientific Officer (Life Sciences), Bureau of Police Research and Development while speaking at seminar at Amity University.
 
He said the pattern of crime has changed over a period of time and the commission of crime by scientific methods makes it difficult for the executioners to bring perpetrators behind the bars.
 
"In cyber crimes, India is still in infancy. ATM frauds are increasing. Effective forensic investigation at the scene of crime can bring criminals to book. 
The importance of the knowledge of forensic evidences specially traces of hair, fibre etc found at the site, have to be ingrained in the officials dealing with cyber crimes," he said.
 
Stressing that banks need to take steps to install modern security and vigilance gadgets and equipments including the CCTV cameras in the ATMs since most of the times, they record low resolution images which are difficult to identify once enlarged.
 
Addressing the seminar, Rakshit Tandon-Advisor, Cyber Crime Cell, Gurgaon Police and CEO A&R Info Solutions Pvt said there has been a significant rise of 60 per cent in Cyber Crimes from 2011 to 2012 in NCR.
 
"Maximum number of perpetrators in cyber crimes are very young, who are unaware of law and proudly proclaim themselves as 'Ethical Hackers'," said Tandon.
 
He said that in 2011, over 1,630 perpetrators for cyber crime were arrested and out of these, 928 were college going students and over 65 were school going children.
 
Stressing that "cyber laws in India needs transformation, he said at present, under Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008, the accused is punished for imprisonment, which may extend to three years or with fine, which may extend to five lakh rupees or both, irrespective of the magnitude of the
crime committed.
 
"Cyber Laws have to be made stringent to restrict youngsters from indulging into them," said Tandon.

Credit Sudhaar is India's first Credit Health management & improvement company whose goal is to help clients to Restore, Enhance and Protect their Credit and make them credit healthy.

CS IdentityShield helps you to Monitor, Protect and Recover your Identity from multiple risks.

Courtesy : India Tv News

Credit Information Firms Failed To Warn On Asset Quality: RBI

The Credit The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday rapped credit information companies (CICs) for failing to provide early warnings on the impending deterioration in banks’ asset quality.
 
“There is credit information about individuals. But credit information companies have not able to give us any clue for policy-level changes. At the level of the regulator, CICs can play a role in providing insights that can drive effective policy changes,” RBI Deputy Governor K C Chakrabarty said, while addressing an annual credit information conference here.
 
“They (CICs) can also provide important inputs to banking supervisors in monitoring-system risks that could be helpful for decisions on aspects such as provisioning. At present, there is no adequate feedback in these areas,” he said. “In fact, it was never envisaged the credit quality in the system would deteriorate so sharply. If we had a good credit-quality information system, it should have been envisaged that there was some risk....Now, we say all banks are saddled with non-performing assets.”
 
“Why didn’t this (feedback from CICs) happen? We must analyse and introspect. We (CICs) have 10 years of experience…there are a host of issues we will be discussing,” he added.
 
Earlier, RBI had appointed a committee under the chairmanship of HDFC Bank chief executive Aditya Puri to look into matters related to CICs. Chakrabarty said though the panel had given a report, it was yet to be placed in the public domain.
 
On the scope for better information on corporate and commercial loans, Chakrabarty said RBI was setting up the Central Repository of Information on Large Credits (CRILC), which would be effective April 1, 2014.
 
“CICs can collect information on exposures of less than ~5 crore. Later, we can mark both the databases (CRILC and data on small loans) and have reliable information on corporate lending,” Chakrabarty said.
 
Non-performing assets (NPAs) and standard restructured assets of banks have seen a sharp rise. For public sector banks, which account for 70 per cent of India’s banking sector, gross NPAs rose from 2.32 per cent in March 2011 to 5.17 per cent in December 2013, according to finance ministry data.
 
Currently, there are four CICs in India—-Credit Information Bureau (India) Ltd, Experian India, Highmark and Equifax Credit Information Services Private Ltd.

Credit Sudhaar is India's first Credit Health management & improvement company whose goal is to help clients to Restore, Enhance and Protect their Credit and make them credit healthy.

Courtesy : Business Standard

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Over 42 Lakh Indian Computers Infected With Botnet Malware

NEW DELHI: Over 42 lakh computer systems, including mobile phones, were infected in India by June last year with 'botnet' malware being used for various kinds of cyber crimes.
 
As per the data shared by Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) with other government departments, the botnet infected systems in the country was 25,915 in 2007 which peaked to about 65 lakh in 2012.
 
The number of botnet infected system grew rapidly and reached over 60 percent in first half of 2013.
 
 
"The bot infected systems are under control of cyber criminals. The bots steal sensitive information such as online credentials, credit card numbers, email id and passwords which cause data loss and financial loss to victims," CERT-in said in on setting up botnet cleaning centre in the country.
 
The term 'bot' is short for robot. Cyber criminals distribute malicious software that can turn a computer into a bot. These bots can be networked together as 'botnet' that can perform automated tasks over the Internet, without the owners of the devices coming to know about it.
 
Criminals use botnets to send out spam email messages, spread viruses, attack computers and servers, and commit other kinds of crime and fraud. It also slows down speed of infected computer or mobile phone.
 
Cyber criminals use Internet to plant malicious software or programmes in a system. In India there are about 210 million Internet connections which include both mobile phones and computers.

Credit Sudhaar is India's first Credit Health management & improvement company whose goal is to help clients to Restore, Enhance and Protect their Credit and make them credit healthy.

CS IdentityShield helps you to Monitor, Protect and Recover your Identity from multiple risks.

Courtesy : Silicon India 

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Brothers Held For Swindling Banks Of Lakhs Via Credit Card

Two brothers – Brijesh Patel and Hemal Patel — were arrested for credit card fraud on Friday. At the time of their arrest, the brothers, residents of Isanpur, had 54 credit cards.
 
They had adopted a unique modus operandi by setting up two dummy companies and wearing hundreds of identities to transfer the money from credit card to those accounts.
 
By doing so, they had siphoned off several lakhs from banks like Axis, HDFC and SBI.
 
KN Patel, assistant commissioner of police, Detection of Crime Branch (DCB), told reporters that both of them had procured various documents of different people who had applied for credit cards earlier.
 
Brijesh used to work for a Direct Service Agency (DSA), which is involved in collecting scrutinising and cross-checking documents of people willing to get credit cards.
 
Patel said Brijesh, quite familiar with the process of procuring a credit card, was in the possession of documents required to apply for credit cards.
 
The duo were using various addresses, practically by renting a house, living there for a few days and making a rental agreement to be shown to the bank while applying for a credit card as address proof. “They use their own photographs and keep changing the names and addresses for different applications,” said the ACP.
 
Surprisingly, banks like Axis Bank (20 credit cards), HDFC (25 credit cards), State Bank of India (seven credit cards) and Kotak Mahindra Bank (two credit cards) had issued more than one credit card with the same photograph, albeit under different names and addresses, to the same people.
 
Police have also found that the duo was exploiting an Axis Bank scheme whereby one could get a credit card if he or she had paid an insurance premium. “They pay a premium for a policy against a dummy name and the address of the rented house and show this payment slip to get the Axis Bank credit card,” another police source said. After procuring the card, Brijesh and Hemal used to encash it and transfer the money on the basis of the purchase made through the dummy companies — Earth Electronics and Sagar International — formed by them.
 
“They swipe the credit card, get the money in these accounts and withdraw it to never pay to the banks,” Patel said. The banks, however, drew a blank when they went to recover the money from the address submitted during the time of procuring the credit card because by that time, the brothers had conveniently shifted to another place.

Credit Sudhaar is India's first Credit Health management & improvement company whose goal is to help clients to Restore, Enhance and Protect their Credit and make them credit healthy

CS IdentityShield helps you to Monitor, Protect and Recover your Identity from multiple risks.

Courtesy : DNA

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Inclusion Of Cyber Security In Poll Manifesto Demanded

NAGPUR: We are living as much in the physical world as in the virtual one today. So much so that social networking sites and digital advertisements are being used as means to campaign for elections. Against this backdrop, city-based NGO Cyber Awareness Organisation (CAO) has appealed to parties to include cyber security in their political mandate.
 
The organization points out that the world is migrating from physical to digital form and in this transition phase there are numerous threats, vulnerabilities that are compromising netizens' security. They say the purpose of this appeal is to make an effort towards a secure and resilient cyberspace for citizens, businesses and the government in future.
 
"Unbelievably, high amounts of money are lost due to cyber crimes, only 10% of which are reported. In the upcoming festival of democracy, all political parties will try and lure voters, especially, the first timer who are techno savvy youngsters. Security in the digital world will be an important issue for them," said cyber law expert and president CAO Mahendra Limaye.
 
Providing this security would entail protection of information in cyberspace, reducing vulnerabilities, building capabilities to prevent and respond to cyber threats and minimizing damage from cyber incidents through a combination of institutional structures, user awareness, process and technology enhancement and coordination among all stake holders, he added. He also insisted that there must be emphasis on training of law enforcement agencies regarding understanding importance of cyber security as a national priority and cyber crime investigation.

Credit Sudhaar is India's first Credit Health management & improvement company whose goal is to help clients to Restore, Enhance and Protect their Credit and make them credit healthy.

CS IdentityShield helps you to Monitor, Protect and Recover your Identity from multiple risks.

Courtesy : Times of India

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Banks Turn To Smartphone Tech To Fight Online Fraud

To ward off cyber-crooks trying to break into customers' accounts, banks are expanding their security efforts beyond desktops and onto iPhones and other mobile devices.
 
Take HSBC Bank USA, for instance, which this week announced it's handing out free two-factor authentication tokens in the next few months for customers to use in their personal Internet banking. These digital and physical security tokens from Vasco Data Security can generate unique one-time passwords each time a customer logs in. And another financial institution, U.S. Bank, this week said it's testing how voice biometrics in a mobile banking app for smartphones can let customers authenticate via their own voice for access to their payment-card accounts rather than having to type passwords.
 
"We take security very seriously," says LuAnne Kingston, senior vice president at HSBC, which is especially encouraging use of two-factor tokens in sensitive transactions such as bill paying, wire transfer or changing account information. Cybercrime is a fact of life on the Internet, and "we're trying to stay ahead of the game," she adds. "The bad guys are constantly trying to access customer data."
 
One-time passwords generated by tokens or other devices do not provide any absolute guarantee of security, because "sophisticated thieves using common banking Trojans" have shown one-time passwords can be "circumvented," Litan says. However, one-time passwords  "still add another layer of protection for the consumer" and their use "is likely to send the bad guys to other accounts that are not so well protected," Litan points out.
 
VOICE BIOMETRICS
 
As for U.S. Bank's voice biometrics approach, customers might one day simply utter a "passphrase" into their smartphones to enable authentication via unique voiceprint into certain accounts, says Dominic Venturo, chief innovation officer, payment services.Venturo says the financial institution is looking for security alternatives to having customers type out long complex passwords on smartphones, and voice biometrics is viewed as a possibility because every one of these mobile devices does have a microphone.  Venturo adds that the bank has had success in using voice biometrics for other purposes internally.
 
U.S. Bank has developed a mobile app for voice biometrics, with the first round of tests focused on Apple iOS devices. Venturo says one reason for that is because the iOS platform, tightly controlled by Apple, is singular, while there are multiple versions of Google Android. However, if the pilot is successful, U.S. Bank is going to support other platforms, including Android, for voice biometrics. If the voice biometrics for mobile banking tests out well, there would be a need to set up a voiceprint registration process for customers.
 
Nuance Communications is providing the back-end server authentication piece for the project. Brett Beranek, senior principal of solutions marketing at Nuance, says once  the individual's audio voiceprint is sent digitally via the smartphone app, it's matched against a voiceprint database as part of the "go" or "no-go" decision-making process. If the match is approved, the user gets access via the smartphone to the appropriate account.

Credit Sudhaar is India's first Credit Health management & improvement company whose goal is to help clients to Restore, Enhance and Protect their Credit and make them credit healthy.

CS IdentityShield helps you to Monitor, Protect and Recover your Identity from multiple risks.

Courtesy : Computerworld.in

Friday, 14 March 2014

Car Buyers, Beware Of Repossession Traps

CHENNAI/MUMBAI: Handing over keys to your house may help you out of a home loan during financial distress, but turning over the car to lenders won't get you off the hook. A borrower who availed of a Rs 11 lakh auto loan in 2008, only to have the car repossessed after few months of default, was shocked to receive a repayment notice for Rs 18 lakh, which included Rs 1.75 lakh as parking charges. 
 
The incident is a one-off case as the borrower had left town after repossession without contacting the bank. The incident, however, does highlight how car loan obligations, despite hypothecation of the vehicle, can snowball if defaults are not addressed in time. Unless you're careful with the paperwork, you could end up with bolt-from-the-blue notices from the debt recovery tribunal (DRT), the judicial body that financiers approach when loans go bad. 
 
So what should you as the customer look out for if you are asking the financier to repossess your car? Sources in the financing industry say the most important thing is to make sure you get a post-sale letter from the lender within 60-90 days of the repossession. 
 
If due to financial difficulties a borrower has no option but to surrender the car and close the loan book, it would make sense to follow the process closely with the financier. "Typically once the customer surrenders the car, the finance company sells the asset and adjusts the realization against the loan outstanding," said the head of another major auto financier. "If the loss is large—the difference between the loan outstanding and the car resale price—the finance company may decide to appeal for recovery of the loss in which case the DRT will inform the customer accordingly." 
 
Banks and auto financiers say they normally send out a post-sale letter to the customer within 60-90 days giving details of the entire transaction. "Only if the customer does not respond and the amount outstanding is huge do we approach the legal route where the customer also gets a chance to explain himself," said head of the auto finance company. "So the customer should get a post-sale letter and if in the unlikely instance the financing company approaches the DRT, intimation from the judicial body as well." To ensure that intimations —either from the company or the DRT—are not lost all contact details should be updated with the bank even after repossession. 
 
If lenders are convinced of the borrowers intent to repay, they may not repossess but help with solutions in case of a default. "Right now despite the slowdown we repossess around 100-150 cars a month which is miniscule," said the finance firm head. Given the difficult market scenario, financiers actually offer "refinancing options" to customers who may not be able to service one chunk of the car loan. "We offer options which help him to pay it back over a period of, say, 24 months because repossession is really our last option. It is not good for the customer and it's bad for the brand."

Credit Sudhaar is India's first Credit Health management & improvement company whose goal is to help clients to Restore, Enhance and Protect their Credit and make them credit healthy.

Courtesy : Times of India

Oversharing On Internet Can Lead To Identity Theft

Washington: As Internet is a free virtual world, one cant help but overshare on it, keeping less in mind how it could lead to preposterous consequences, including identity theft. 
 
Netizens tend to share a lot of their personal details including intimate details of travel plans, or what they really think of their boss, for instance.
 
However, such information could potentially pose risk to one's financial accounts, as pointed by ZDNET writer Zach Whittaker. 
 
According to a website, users shouldn't use the Geolocation Tags feature that could reveal their exact addresses instead of a city, which could easily allow someone to match the Tweets or Instagram pictures with the address and give it to financial companies to verify the identity. 
 
Posting a picture of the financial or personal data, like a new driver's license or credit card, is another way of providing easy access to information that someone could use to socially engineer their way into a user's bank account.
 
Sites like Airbnb, Airpnp or Lyft encourage people to make money off their existing physical assets like cars, extra rooms or conveniently-located bathrooms. However, they could also engender a false sense of security about having strangers around a user's personal stuff. 
 
One of the most overused aspects of oversharing is 'Check-ins'. Regular check-ins could potentially help burglars keep a diary about a user's outings, complete with time, so they could easily break in their house when they are at a party expected to end late, the report added.

Credit Sudhaar is India's first Credit Health management & improvement company whose goal is to help clients to Restore, Enhance and Protect their Credit and make them credit healthy

CS IdentityShield helps you to Monitor, Protect and Recover your Identity from multiple risks.

Courtesy : Zee News

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Indian Cyber Space Less Secure Than Neighbors

Vulnerabilities in the government of India websites could wreak havoc in Asia’s second fastest growing economy as expert warns that Indian is less protected than regional neighbors.
 
With over a billion people in India and a steady surge in the number of users of smartphones, hackers and cyber criminals pose serious threats.
 
Cyber crime expert Harjinder Singh Lallie, from the University of Warwick, believes India is not only lagging well behind other countries but also from regional competitors.
 
Lallie cited the example of Asian nation Malaysia as one that is developing its cyber security at a rapid pace. For example, the Malaysian government has introduced strict new compliance requirements in the form of Malaysia’s Personal Data Protection Act 2013.
 
Although the Indian government has tried to demonstrate its intent through National Cyber Security Policy, implementation of the exhaustive guidelines mentioned in the document is a huge task for the government. 
 
“During my last few visits to India, two consistent themes were the industry being unsure how the policy would be making its way through academic and industry, and that there is no incentive on collaboration with countries such as the UK/USA who are far advanced in terms of their Cyber Security capability,” said Lallie.
 
Some of the biggest challenges for the country include lack of cyber security BSC/MSC courses. There are just 20 compared to 70 in the UK, which has a fraction of India’s population.
 
“There is a phenomenal boom in the increased connectivity of the ordinary citizen who carry connected phones around with them, sometimes two or three, but are not aware of the dangers that it poses,” said Lallie. “How does India plan to raise the most basic level of awareness?”
 
India’s online vulnerability is clearly evident because presently there is no organisation centrally for reporting cyber crime. For the US, it was estimated that 11.5 million Americans were defrauded last year. There are no such figures for India. This demonstrates that the country needs to strengthen not only its online security systems but also start a uniform-monitoring mechanism.
 
“The government is much less ‘open’ in India so is unlikely to release statistics,” said Lallie.
 
But low awareness levels among average individuals as well as nascent stage development of Intellectual Property make the country a huge target for various cyber crimes.
 
In September Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) of the UK government have jointly launched a cyber security and public policy education program.
 
The Chevening-TCS Scholarship on Cyber Policy is targeted at mid-career professionals in India who have the potential to be future leaders, and will prepare them for the increasingly complex world of cyber security and policy.

Credit Sudhaar is India's first Credit Health management & improvement company whose goal is to help clients to Restore, Enhance and Protect their Credit and make them credit healthy

CS IdentityShield helps you to Monitor, Protect and Recover your Identity from multiple risks

Courtesy : Tech Target

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Banks Keeping Close Watch On Credit Card Dues

CHENNAI: In a deja vu of sorts, banks and credit card companies are in high alert mode again, with some even blocking cards if minimum dues on monthly payments are not made within the stipulated time.
 
Though banks are quick to point out that they give sufficient notice before they actually start the card disabling process, there have been instances where some private banks disabled cards within 10 days after the cut-off date.
 
"We give a sufficient window period of 72 days from the due date before we disable the card," said a spokesperson of Kotak Mahindra Bank. SBI Card also gives a payment window of 75 days for payment of minimum dues of the monthly statement, failing which the company resorts to card blockage.
 
Credit card delinquencies or bad debts peaked in India to 6% (of the total dues outstanding) in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. Post that, the industry witnessed consolidation with several card issuers exiting the business. Banks started to adopt a more stringent approach with respect to new customer acquisitions that included sourcing the right ones by doing a recce on their past financial history and credit scores and also determining card limits before issuing them.
 
"Right now, delinquency levels are at 1.5%. From an industry standpoint, there is some risk build-up on account of the external environment," Pallav Mohapatra, CEO of SBI Card, said. Officials add that an economic slump results in fall in disposable income (either job loss or marginal salary hike), which in turn impacts repayment. On their part, industry observers state that banks are adopting a 'portfolio management' approach with respect to credit cards and other retail lending activities.
 
"They are actively looking at your portfolio at regular intervals (like every quarter or half yearly) to determine strategies that include collection," Harshala Chandorkar, senior V-P, consumer relations, Credit Information Bureau (CIBIL) said. CIBIL is India's apex body providing credit information.
 
So if you have got two or more cards from other banks as well as a personal loan before your next review, your risk profile would be different when compared to a single-card holder. "We continue to closely monitor the delinquency levels," the Kotak spokesperson said. According to such observers, there are no standard rules with respect to card blockage and is entirely dependent on the individual bank's internal credit policy. "It is entirely up to each individual issuer on what to absorb and how much to absorb," Mohapatra said.
 
On their part, banks and companies are also actively encouraging customers to use alternative channels for card payment such as net banking and mobile banking. "Around 65% of our card payments now happen through alternative channels," Mohapatra said.
 
Organisations such as CIBIL are also pitching in by holding awareness camps on the nitty-gritties of card payments, including minimum dues. "A lot of customers have misconceptions about minimum dues. They are not aware that they would have to pay a high interest on the balance," Chandorkar said. For instance, if the monthly due on your credit card is Rs 100 and you have paid the minimum due of, say, Rs 2, you would be charged a high rate of interest (35%-40%) on the remainder amount (Rs 98).

Credit Sudhaar is India's first Credit Health management & improvement company whose goal is to help clients to Restore, Enhance and Protect their Credit and make them credit healthy.

Courtesy : Times of India