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UKFast warn of Valentine's Day email massacre

Article date: Thu, 10 Feb 2005 00:00 GMT

Manchester based ISP UKFast is warning email users to be vigilant of 'Phishing' as Valentines Day approaches. The amount of regular spam is surging, but of more concern are the emails enticing consumers to visit spoofed websites such as banking or retail pages in order to steal personal details. Messages offering cheap flowers, chocolates or even last minute trips away could be a lot more hazardous than people realise.

In 2004 Web portal Lycos Europe reported a 500% increase in the number of phishing email messages it was catching. The Anti-Phishing Working group also reported that the number of phishing attacks against new targets was growing at a rate of 30% or more per month. And with Valentines online spend increasing by 40% year on year it's a time to choose romance carefully.

Already in the US one bank is being sued by a customer who lost over $90,000 to a phishing scam originating from an Eastern Europe crime base. The result of the case will set certain precedents regarding who should be held responsible for keeping personal information secure.

UKFast became aware of the potential danger early in 2004. Using a variety of protection technologies and filtering techniques. Our Anti-spam and Anti-virus software was designed and extensively tested before being rolled out in time for the Christmas email deluge.

Network Manager, Neil Lathwood says; "Prevention is the best form of defence. People need a system that offers end-to-end security for inbound and outbound email, combating viruses, unsolicited mail and pornographic content. The software is designed to go one step further than other protective software and acts with intelligence keeping essential business information permanently secure and available."

MJR Computer Consultants cite UKFast's anti-spam as a must for all domains they host. "We get businesses online all over Yorkshire and this provides excellent protection. Also, constant monitoring at server level provides invaluable peace of mind." Says Director Michael Radford.

"But the product's true strength is that it adds an extra layer of defence whilst integrating fully with any other virus protection software my clients choose to use. We haven't had a virus problem on any installation."

Also on the horizon is the more sophisticated threat 'Pharming', which doesn't require emailing. Hackers use DNS hijacking to reroute your browser from a website address to one almost identical in name and content which then proceeds to take your details. "Such intelligent online warfare will be very difficult to counteract," admits Lathwood. "But Ukfast is working on innovations to protect our online community over the coming months."

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