Japanese banks hit by phishing cases

Police suspect the scams are being carried out via a new method--PC viruses, where only users with infected computers get fake pages displayed.

Japanese police say three banks in the country have been hit by a series of phishing cases where infected PCs display deceptive messages to users visiting their Web sites.

When users visit the online banking Web sites of Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Japan Post Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking, they faced fake pages tricking them into inputting their personal information, the Daily Yomiuri reported on Saturday, citing unnamed sources from the country's Metropolitan Police Department.

When police tried to access the Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ's banking Web site on an infected computer, messages such as "an error was detected" was displayed. The screen then displayed a page prompting users to input their PIN number and other personal data.

The scheme using viruses was a new method of phishing, according to the police sources. They are currently investigating what damage may have been caused.

There has been a spate of cyberattacks on banks over the past two months. Last week, customers found themselves locked out of HSBC's online banking as a result of a denial-of-service (DoS) attack for nearly ten hours before the service came back. In late September, DoS attacks hit major U.S. banks including Wells Fargo, Citigroup, J.P. Morgan and Bank of America, with Iranian group Izz ad-Din al-Quassam Cyber Fighters claiming responsibility for it .