FryUp: Reports and Scams

Top Stories: - ICT report response - This week's scam

Top Stories:

- ICT report response

- This week's scam

- ICT report response

The government has responded to the ICT taskforce with a wad of cash and the promise that it will do more for the business sector when it looks at research and development tax issues later on in its term.

It's a good start - the sector has had problems for a long time with a lack of trained recruits coming through the system and a lot of the cash will go towards schemes to encourage students at both secondary and tertiary levels into the computer and telecommunications areas.

The next step is for business to get involved as well - I'd like to see more sponsorship and scholarships to give kids an incentive not to study management or accounting (something we didn't need in my day but since then the world has turned and they tend to look at the bottom line a bit more than we ever did).

Now it has been reported to me that I sounded like a tired, grumpy old man talking about this matter on the radio the other day so to all concerned I must apologise. I do think this is a good first step - but the thing about first steps is there must be more coming along behind otherwise you're just a guy with your legs akimbo.

ICT Taskforce gets millions for ICT industry growth - Computerworld Online

$40m to boost IT growth - NZ Herald

- This week's scam

This week we turn away from domain name scams, although I did get to talk to someone at Domain Names NZ about last week's efforts (more on that below), and turn instead to fake banking websites.

Ah yes, the old "can you confirm your user name and password for us please" email. An oldie but a goodie, apparently. This time round it was Westpac customers being lured in their hundreds to click on the link and go to the website and give up their cash.

I guess you're all taking a risk when you read the FryUp in HTML because the links don't look like links, y'know all http:// etc, but instead look all neat and tidy and ready to click on. I might tell you it's a link to our story on the ICT taskforce report but if you click on the link you could find yourself just about anywhere.

It's the same with these kinds of emails - they look the business and before you know it a man called Dimitri owns your cheque account.

Which is why I was less than impressed with the banks' responses to the problem.

Firstly, you want to tell everyone immediately. Westpac took some time to do this. I've read emails and postings from Westpac customers who were informed by their ISPs before the bank got to them. This is bad, especially when you consider the same stunt was tried in Australia earlier this year.

Secondly, I received an email from my bank warning me about it. That's nice, but the email included two links to the real bank's websites. While that might seem like a good idea, telling customers these are the only two sites that are official, it's still a bank sending out an email with an URL in it. I'd rather they sent out an email saying "beware and go check out our statement on our website. YOU KNOW THE ONE". That way I can be assured of the content of the email and the two URLs.

It's a little thing I know, but by sending out an email like that the bank is in effect legitimising the idea that banks send out URLs in emails and ask customers to click on them.

I can just see the next scam - it will be a 'warning' email on the back of another scam and will direct customers to check their details because of possible security risks and will send them off to the wrong site.

Banks warn customers about more hoaxes - Computerworld online

Crooks 'phish' for Westpac customer details - NZ Herald

Bank squatter denies hoax mail - Computerworld online

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