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eBay riled by Romania's policy on phishers

The company has said Romanian phishers have 'no fear of real punishment' and fighting larger crime networks remains an 'uphill battle'
Written by Nick Heath, Contributor

Online auction site eBay has hit out at the lack of interest in cybercrime enforcement in countries including Romania, warning that not enough is being done to stop fraudsters targeting auction sites.

Along with Romania, China and Russia were also pinpointed as the source of the majority of phishing emails targeting eBay users for personal and account details.

Mark Lee, trust and safety manager for eBay UK, blamed the fact there was "no fear of real punishment" in the countries and highlighted the particular scale of the problem in Romania.

Lee said: "These attacks are definitely organised. There are towns in Romania where the entire focus is on sites like eBay as the main source of income."

Last June, eBay revealed details of a three-year-long campaign to curb online fraud by criminals in Romania that led to several hundred arrests.

Most of Romania's law-enforcement efforts are concentrated on its capital, Bucharest, but most of the cases identified during the crackdown originated from smaller towns, where the eBay team sometimes found backlogs of 200 eBay-related fraud cases, Lee said.

Speaking at the e-Crime Congress 2008 in London, Lee said phishing remains the main threat facing eBay users.

But, Lee said, eBay has kept the number of attacks static through educating users about revealing personal details and built-in security measures in new internet browsers.

Lee added that eBay is often successful in tracking down the smaller online criminals but he warned that fighting larger crime networks remains an "uphill battle".

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