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Bank of New Zealand Security Alert

19 June 2006

Bank of New Zealand Security Alert

Bank of New Zealand customers are being advised not to respond to a hoax security warning email claiming to be from the Bank’s security department.

This month phishing fraudsters have been particularly active in targeting New Zealanders: Bank of New Zealand, Kiwibank and National Bank have all reported phishing scam attempts in recent weeks.

Phishing scams seek to drive customers to fake websites and then convince them to provide bank account logon and password information, enabling the customer’s account to be accessed.

Fake emails and other spam messages are commonplace overseas and are now more prevalent in New Zealand, says Shona Bishop, Bank of New Zealand General Manager Marketing.

“Almost every bank in Australia and New Zealand has had to deal with hoax emails and fake websites of this kind. Bank security is strong. We remind our customers not to ignore the advice they are regularly given by the Bank to protect their account and password details.

“Customers looking for additional security when conducting Internet banking should register for NetGuard, the Bank’s second factor authentication service, which is provided free of charge”, says Ms Bishop.

NetGuard works by providing an additional level of security every time a customer accesses Internet banking. “Customers are prompted to enter a one-off security code at the time of logging-in to their Internet banking session, protecting personal information and funds from the very beginning of the session.”

Customers can order NetGuard via the Bank’s website, or register at a branch. Delivery is within a week.

A small number of customers have called our contact centre, reporting that they had received an email directing them to what they thought was a legitimate Bank of New Zealand website, says Ms Bishop.

Bank of New Zealand is advising customers to:

- Delete the email without opening it
- Under no circumstances follow the links to the website
- Not to provide confidential information like access codes or PIN numbers.
- Keep security measures such as anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewall software up to date.

“We are working with the authorities and Internet service providers to get the fake site shut down. Bank of New Zealand would never ask customers to click on a link and type in their log-in details: Customers should not respond to such requests.”

“We ask anyone that has concerns that they may have disclosed their identity to please call our Customer Solutions Advisors on 0800 275 269 or +64 4 494 9098 from overseas.”

ENDS

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