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Banks face legal challenge to disclose phished account details

26 August 2009  |  5103 views  |  0 biometric  eye

In a move that could see banks forced to hand over greater information on data breaches, a US anti-spam outfit has filed a lawsuit against unnamed "John Does" accused of using malware to steal money from business bank accounts.

Unspam Technologies, which uses volunteers and software to track down information about spammers, has filed the complaint against "John Does stealing money from US businesses through unauthorized electronic transfers made possible by computer viruses transmitted in spam".

Unspam's lawyer, Jon Praed, told the New York Times that it is often difficult to track perpetrators of these crimes because banks are reluctant to disclose details on thefts, the names of victims and other information

Banks often argue that they do not want to betray customer confidentiality or give away techniques used to perpetrate or fight fraud.

Praed hopes the lawsuit will help convince, or even force, banks to hand over information.

He admits this is unlikely to to help expose the unnamed "John Does" in the suit but thinks the sharing of information could help banks and businesses better protect themselves.

A Lawsuit Tries to Get at Hackers Through the Banks They Attack - NY Times

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