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834% Rise in TSB Customer Attacks

Following the IT ‘meltdown’ at TSB last month which led to chaos for customers who were locked out of their own accounts, research has found that the number of phishing attacks targeting TSB customers leapt by 843% in May compared with April.

Fraudsters Taking Advantage

The statistics, reported recently in Computer Weekly, appear to indicate that fraudsters may have been quick to take advantage of the bank’s IT meltdown.

For example, an investigation by Wandera security found that in May, TSB was the second most used bank brand by scammers attempting to obtain customer details. In April, for 100,000 UK devices using Wandera security, there were only 28 TSB-themed phishing attacks. In May, the number jumped to 236 such attacks.

According to Wandera’s figures, in April TSB appeared in the top five financial services apps to be impersonated for attacks for the first time this year, and this may be an indication that TSB wasn’t a major target for phishers prior to the systems meltdown incident.

All of this information has led security commentators to conclude that the rise in fraud against TSB customers is likely to be linked to the systems problem that the banks experienced May.

What Happened?

Back in May, 1.9 million TSB customers were affected when a migration to a new system didn’t go to plan and resulted in what some commentators have described as a ‘meltdown’ of its banking systems.

Some of the problems experienced by customers included : not being able to access their own money, having no access to any mobile and online services, problems with direct debits, and amounts of money appearing and disappearing. It was even reported that one customer was mistakenly credited with £13,000.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

This information should give businesses some idea of the ruthless and opportunistic nature of cyber criminals, and how quickly they can focus their efforts when vulnerabilities are spotted. Weaknesses in banking systems would, of course, have been a particularly attractive target.

In the case of TSB, as in the aftermath of many IT system problems, scammers were quick to use the bank’s IT problems as an opportunity to target its desperate customers with mobile phishing attacks. Customers would have been hoping / expecting to hear from the bank at the time, and so would have let their guard down when emails and any communication that looked as though it was from the bank, asking them for personal details / login details.