Cyotas Anti-Fraud Command Center Reports Results

Users of Cyota's FraudAction have reported that the Anti-Fraud Command Center has handled hundreds of distinct phishing attacks per month, and shut down more than 60 percent of attacks in less than 5 hours.

Cyota, which provides anti-fraud and security solutions for financial institutions, has revealed several key results of its anti-phishing service, FraudAction. Cyotas anti-phishing solution, developed in mid-2003, went public in January 2004.

FraudAction, currently in use by 5 top American and British banks, includes real-time alerts, detailed severity assessments, site shutdown services, forensic work and proprietary counter-measures. The service is deployed by Cyotas 24x7 Anti-Fraud Command Center (AFCC), which also supports Cyotas various anti-fraud and security services. The AFCC identifies and analyzes new trends in the phishing and online fraud industry.

Users of Cyota FraudAction have reported that the AFCC has handled hundreds of distinct phishing attacks per month. Cyota shut down over 60 percent of attacks in less than 5 hours. Several sites have been shut down in even less than one hour.

Cyota claims to have lowered the lifespan of a typical phishing site to 5 hours, compared to the industry average of 153 hours (6.4 days) reported by the Anti-Phishing Working Group. Cyotas AFCC has found that 2/3 of attacks are hosted internationally; domestically-hosted sites typically take less time to shutdown.

Cyotas counter-measures, which have patents pending, were deployed in 72 percent of the attacks. Cyota alerted the bank that it was under attack, on average, 4 hours prior to the first customer call. One bank benchmarked its phishing-related fraud losses before and after using Cyotas service, and confirmed that FraudAction lowered its losses by over 50 percent. Cyotas AFCC has found that 59% of phishing attacks are hosted on hijacked computers.

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Cyota revealed a change in phishing tactics last month when it observed that phishing attacks have begun shifting focus to banks not targeted before. These newly-attacked banks, left alone before now, are being hit suddenly with intensely focused campaigns.

While previously fraudsters gradually increased the number of attacks on a given bank, now the AFCC is seeing very sudden and rapid growth against new targets. Over the past three months, several large to mid-sized banks in the US have seen a growth of thousands of percent in the number of phishing attacks against them.

What causes alarm is that fraudsters attack the less-suspecting targets with multiple sequential hits, catching some financial institutions off guard and capturing as much stolen information as possible in a very short timeframe. Cyotas AFCC recently spotted several such cases where hundreds of attacks were launched within 3 months, compared to 1-10 attacks total against the same entities in the months before.

"Banks can no longer assume that they will have time to better protect themselves after their first phishing incident. They must be pro-active in preparing in advance as phishing and online fraud continue to evolve and spread with little early warning," said Amir Orad, Cyotas Executive Vice President of Marketing.

Orad naturally recommends that banks deploy solutions like his firms FraudAction, but also says that new procedures need to be put in place so that banks will be prepared to deal with the problem before it catches them by surprise.

Cyotas FraudAction service has been deployed by Barclays Bank Plc and Barclaycard, one of the largest retail banks and the largest card issuer in Europe respectively. After due diligence of the different technologies in the market, the bank launched a pilot of Cyotas FraudAction service earlier this year. Following the pilot, the bank decided to extend the program and move into full production mode.

Stuart Mackenzie, Barclays Fraud Senior Portfolio Manager, said, "We found that Cyotas service was a comprehensive approach, and it has been extremely helpful in our efforts against phishing." Mackenzie added: "Cyotas financial fraud and phishing specialists work round the clock on our behalf before, during and after a phishing incident, and Cyotas innovative and unique technologies have proven to be very effective. We were extremely pleased with the pilot, and hence have decided to continue working with Cyota and use FraudAction as a full production service as part of our efforts to fight phishing and mitigate its effects."

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