A bank client was the victim of phishing: through this social engineering technique, The thieves called her on the phone, posed as employees of the institution, acquired her home banking username and password, emptied her savings account, and took out a loan in her name. for several hundred thousand pesos.
The denunciation of this fact led to a unprecedented recent drop, which established that the bank is not exempted from its responsibility if a client voluntarily shares their bank details with cybercriminals.
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Sofor the first time the main argument of the institutions was discarded facing lawsuits for phishing cases: the customer is solely responsible.
Now the bank must assume the punishment for a crime of which it is not guilty. Can you imagine that firefighters had to pay for the reconstruction of a building after putting out the fire? This is almost the same.
I think This ruling invites us to reflect because it takes into account only a part of the actors. It is clear that the culprit is not the institution, much less the client. The person responsible is the cybercriminal. Sounds obvious, I know. But it has to be said. Beyond the philosophical ethical debate and the trivialization of the issue by the media, which could even promote the increase in cybercrime, legal efforts must also be put into providing a legal framework that protects victims and punishes the real perpetrators of the crime.
The regulations and the personal data protection model as a basis
Each market has its regulations for organizations, private companies and users to operate. In Argentina, great efforts are made in terms of cybersecurity, especially in the banking industry. From my point of view, this allows for one of the most successful models in the region, with the balance between security and usability necessary to create an excellent user experience.
I believe that cases like the one exposed could establish a new starting point for updating the applications and for getting to work so that each link in the chain can have responsibility for 100% of their actions.
I know that the banking system has the tools required to prevent massive attacks. I am also aware of the specialization of criminals to date. Therefore, convinced that the key is the education of users in cybersecurity by the government, companies and educational institutions.
Education is the surest key
Cybersecurity can protect people’s digital identity and prevent fraud with various innovations, such as artificial intelligence and biometric recognition. However, despite having multiple tools against social engineering attacks, technology is not always enough.
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In this sense, to be prepared against cybercriminals, la permanent education is key. First of all, we must be aware that any of us is a possible target of a phishing attack. because we have to always stay tuned and alert to any suspicious message, since scammers can even impersonate friends or acquaintances through WhatsApp or Telegram. Also social networks, to which we usually go for claims, today are one of the main ways of deception.
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Necessary Pay attention to the details. For example:
- Do not click on links or download attachments that come to us by email, social networks or messaging services from unknown senders.
- And if we believe that it is from our bank or from a trusted institution, make sure that it is not false, since sometimes the name can have some subtle change to try to deceive us.
- Banks will never request sensitive data from us through these means. So, if in doubt, we should always contact customer service before responding to any digital communication.
- When we need to enter the official website of our bank, do not search for it on Google because cybercriminals can pay for false duplicate pages to appear as ads among the first results. We should always write the web in the address bar or have it in our favorites. But no recommendation beats the security of a mobile application: by far, the safest way to operate is through them.
- Another fundamental tool, implemented years ago by banks, is the second authentication factor: if you don’t have it, you have to activate it and never share it, so that no one can access your account from another device. And finally, always have the software updated, both on our computer and on our cell phone.
These recommendations can help us face the dangers of the digital world, where for example Microsoft last year blocked more than 35.7 billion phishing attacks and other malicious emails sent by criminals. However, to reduce cybercrime, we must put the spotlight on the criminals, the true villains of this story.
* founder and CEO of VU, a cybersecurity specialist
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