ING Direct, the direct banking business of Dutch group ING, is offering US customers free anti-phishing software from Internet security outfit Trusteer.
The online bank is offering the Rapport application - which is designed to protect against phishing, pharming, keylogging, session hijacking, man in the middle and man in the browser attacks - as a free download from its site.
Trusteer says Rapport protects logins and transactions from fraudsters, even if a computer is infected with malware. The system works on the assumption that the customer's computer is already infected and builds a "secure pipe" to hide credentials and communication with the bank's site.
Malware or any other form of attack cannot penetrate the secure pipe and cannot interfere with online banking activities, says Trusteer.
Commenting on the move to offer the software, Rudy Wolfs, CIO, ING Direct, adds: "Our strategy of adding and changing security layers with minimal customer impact is critical. With this new product, our customers have the opportunity to install free fraud-prevention software that protects against even the most sophisticated online threats."
"As a direct bank with no branches, our primary channel for customer interaction is the Internet. Consumer confidence in the safety of this channel is critical for our business," adds Rob Weaver, head, IT security, ING Direct USA.
Phishing continues to pose a major threat to customers, with around 3.6 million US adults falling victim and losing money in phishing attacks in the 12 months ending in August 2007, up from 2.3 million adults the year before, according to research from consultancy Gartner.