Key Supervisory and Regulatory Initiatives

MARKET CONDUCT

BOX 7
COMBATING PHISHING AND SPYWARE

While technological developments have led to greater convenience and efficiency for customers, internet security threats are also on the increase.

Phishing and spyware are among the most prevalent security threats to internet banking and other online financial services. Phishing usually makes use of unsolicited e-mails and fraudulent websites to trick bank customers into disclosing their personal details. Spyware is more subtle. Usually disguised as internet utilities, games and multi-media files, spyware is often installed unwittingly by the victims themselves.

Given the prevalence of internet security threats, MAS has issued security guidelines and advisories to financial institutions to advise them to improve their security controls on internet channels. They have also been encouraged to strengthen their online verification procedures by adopting two-factor authentication. Customers have also been advised to take extra security precautions.