Almost half of cyber fraud victims don’t get money back — Kaspersky

MANILA, Philippines — As much as 41 percent of Internet users who have fallen victim to any form of cyber fraud could no longer get their money back according to a recent study by Kaspersky Lab, highlighting the specter that is the increasing rate of cybercrime all around the world and its damning effects even on common individuals.

Of those victimized by cybercriminals, only 45 percent were able to recover the full amount that was stolen from their accounts, while 14 percent recovered only part of the sum, according to the joint study by the Russian security software firm and B2B International.

But for the remaining 41 percent, the money stolen by modern-day crooks become irretrievably lost.

“It all creates a perfect storm: cybercriminals scent profits, and redouble their efforts to steal money from users, while users delegate most protection measures to their banks, e-pay services and online stores,” Kaspersky Lab said.

“These businesses, however, are not always able or willing to provide the required level of protection, for technical or other reasons. This makes attacks on financial transactions even more attractive for cybercrooks,” it added.

The latest study from the Russian software firm underpins the harsh realities of online security and the prevalence of cybercrime, which reportedly cost the US economy a total of $110 billion in 2011, and is expected to rise in the coming years.

According to the survey, 33 percent of the respondents said their money was most often irretrievable if it was “stolen” during an online payment transaction.

The survey indicated that fewer fraud victims in e-payment transactions get the full amount of their money back than online banking users: 12 percent for the former versus the latter’s 15 percent money-back rate.

Respondents put their full trust in their banks’ or payment gateways’ technology systems, the study added, with 45 percent respondents believing the bank is responsible for paying back any money lost during online operations, almost half of which think the bank should provide free security tools to safeguard money transfers.

Given this reality, Kaspersky Lab said it recommends a more advanced protection system for online transactions, as some of cybercriminals’ sophisticated tools and mechanisms do not fall under the radar of most Internet Security software systems available today.

“Considering the particular features of online fraud, Kaspersky Lab has developed its unique Safe Money technology to protect computers from financial attacks,” it said, adding that the technology is currently available in their Kaspersky Internet Security and Kaspersky PURE 3.0 products.

Safe Money is a set of high-class protection mechanisms activated automatically whenever users are banking or paying online. The integrated multi-level system of verification is able to check the authenticity of sites that users are trying to enter, thus protecting against phishing attacks.

A special safe browser mode safeguards users’ online activities from malicious attacks. Another mechanism checks applications on the computer for vulnerabilities, effectively protecting against exploits (malicious programs which exploit vulnerabilities in legitimate software). Finally, Secure Keyboard and Virtual Keyboard technologies defeat keyloggers and ensure passwords and credit card details can be entered without risk of interception.

The combination of all the mechanisms in Safe Money technology, the security software provider claims, ensures maximum protection for online banking and payment transactions.