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Popular Australian e-commerce fraud suburbs revealed

Ben Grubb (SMH) | May 4, 2011
New data collated from about 2 million Australian credit and debit cards reveals the popular suburbs in which e-commerce fraud has been attempted, using internet-connected computers.

"So again that's not surprising to see these things where universities exist and there's a lot of public machines that people can use to commit fraud."

Mr Hooper suspected many of the Queensland suburbs listed to be hot spots for Trojan-infected computers rather than where the criminals lived.

"[In] Sandgate ... there's a lot of retirees around there and people that might not be patching their machines and keeping both the patching up-to-date and the anti-virus up to date," Mr Hooper said.

"They might be more likely to be prone to open an email message that they shouldn't open. So either responding to a phishing attack or opening up a Trojan that's embedded within a machine."

He also suspected this to be the case for the NSW town of Hay - but for a different reason.

"Hay's a very small town in NSW. I would suspect that [with] somewhere like Hay it's actually more likely to be rampant Trojans out there. And because they're a smaller community they'll be sharing files between each other. So it's quite easy to ... get a concentrated infection in one area. So I would suggest there'd be less genuine fraud [there]. So I don't think the fraudsters will live in Hay. I think they'll live somewhere else. But there'll be a large proportion of their machines that are infected out there. And again a lot of that will come from the community sort of impact of sending files around."

Mr Hooper said schemes such as Verified by Visa and MasterCard's Securecode were designed to stop e-commerce fraud from occurring.

"RSA are providing that extra level of authentication or fraud detection [to them]," he said. "So we're stopping that fraud as the user's making that transaction."

Verified by Visa, which is available only on websites that participate in adding the extra level of security, creates another factor of authentication when completing a transaction.

MasterCard's Securecode works on the same premise.


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