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Elton Cane

Elton Cane

Elton Cane - writer & tech geek

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Information Security

Information Security

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Swiftcommunity infiltrated by fraudster

13 November 2008  |  3356 views  |  3

One hopes that vetting procedures for accessing Swift's secure SwiftNet network are much stricter than those for its online community forums at swiftcommunity.net. It seems that a Nigerian 419 fraudster was able to register, get a username and password, and send the usual "investment opportunity" email using the internal message system.

Erstwhile Finextra Community regular and paid Swiftcommunity columnist Chris Skinner relates the tale on one of his other blogs.

To be fair to Swift, they allow anyone with a valid email address to sign up for alerts about event announcements and new blog posts from their several regular posters.  Some of their community forums are open to anyone too, but many are private invitation-only affairs with sporadic discussion about standards, working with Swift etc.

I just checked to see if the offending fraudster  - one Elias Molawa from Western Sector Resources in Ghana - was still registered as one of Swiftcommunity's several thousand members, and it seems he is. I wonder how long he'll remain? 

TagsSecurityRisk & regulation

Comments: (4)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 13 November, 2008, 17:10

Hi Elton,

I'm the manager of swiftcommunity.net, and indeed this "big" title is a great way to make people opening your blog and read it... well done...;-)

Actually this person has been caught 3 times already, and managing these situations takes a (very) limited amount of time, and fortunately for us has nothing to do with how secure the application is.

For your information, if you want to  "spam" with these idiot messages members of our community you have to do it one by one, manually, and - again - it's the price we accepted to pay in order to make people able to do some sane networking, which i believe is the same objective Finextra is pursuing (BTW, you should add a spell-check, we have it, don't have time now to check my english).

Chris made a joke on another blog, good you've spotted. I'm sure the readers will have the right perception of it. The day we will be able to avoid intentional spam upfront has still to come, but in more than one year, this is the only case I'm aware of.

We will remove this person again, we'll see who gets tired first...





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Elton Cane
Elton Cane - writer & tech geek - Brisbane | 13 November, 2008, 17:32

Hi Matteo,

Yes, we do like an eyecatching headline here at Finextra.

I think you're right though, the occasional encounter with a troll or 419er is a common price to pay when getting involved in networking and discussion online. And as long as it's very occasional most people would see it as a minor annoyance or even humorous.

But just as we learnt from first using email as a business tool in the 90s it's when the tide of spam starts to rise that it becomes a real problem.

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Steve Ellis
Steve Ellis - Metia - London | 13 November, 2008, 22:03

Good for you Matteo.

Keep weeding them out :-)

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 14 November, 2008, 03:27

Oh, by the way, the spell checker is a 'right click' for you blog posters, I know I obviously forget, but I thought if I wrote it down I'd remember, though it doesn't help with the grammar. Here goes:

Right-click in the blog window and select 'Check Spelling' to check spelling.

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