Piedmont Credit Union Deploys New Software
The Danville, Va., credit union using GUARDED ID from Strikeforce Technologies of Edison, N.J., a solution the $33 million credit union bought from IDTELi LLC, a workforce identity theft awareness and prevention firm in Beaverton, Ore.
IDTELi said the Virginia credit union is one of the first in the country to use the software and made the move after several of its members were affected by the Heartland Payment Systems data breach, which was initiated by keylogging malware.
"While Piedmont's management has since determined that the Heartland data breach was not related to any of Piedmont's internal systems, proactive steps have been taken to prevent a similar event from occurring at its credit union," IDTELi said in its announcement.
IDTELi's Brenda Eaden said that "every financial institution needs to re-examine their data security in light of the Heartland breach. Most, if not all, financial institutions utilize important state-of-the-art firewalls, 'best-of-breed' anti-virus and anti-spyware, filters and Web gateway security but they also need to ensure data is secure at its most vulnerable point of exposure to theft, the computer keyboard."
Fraudsters Cap Busy Year
The holidays were a busy time for cyber-fraudsters, according to the Anti-Phishing Working Group.
The number of sites infecting PCs with password-stealing crimeware reached an all-time high of 31,173 in December, an 827% increase from January 2008, according to the international coalition created to combat electronic crime.
The number of unique keyloggers and crimeware-oriented malicious applications, meanwhile, rose to an all-time high of 1,519 in July, the group said.
The surge is an indicator of electronic crime gangs investing heavily in automated systems aimed at stealing both personal and enterprise data, the APWG said.
In its report on the second half of 2008, released last week, the APWG also said that detected rogue anti-malware programs increased from 2,850 in July to 9,827 in December. Those are defined as "fake anti-malware products that can be used for automated phishing, extortion or, most commonly up until recently, the fraudulent sale of a worthless purported anti-malware product."
"While phishing attacks continued against consumers, we saw that cyber criminals really focused new efforts on spreading malicious software, Trojans and crimeware," said APWG Chairman Dave Jevans.
"In particular, criminals are attempting to install software onto consumer's computers in order to steal their passwords and login credentials to online sites. Consumers must be wary not only of fake e-mails purporting to be from banks, but also beware of fake security software from unknown vendors and, more than ever, Web sites programmed to infect their PCs," Jevans said.
The full report is available at www.antiphishing.org.
SECU Revamps Stations
State Employees' Credit Union recently revamped the teller stations at all of its branches to be handicap accessible.
The CU's newer credit union buildings had already included a handicap accessible teller window in its design, and the credit union decided to create the teller windows at all its branches.
"I'm a new wheelchair user and it's nice to be able to actually see who I'm dealing with in the branch. With the lowered countertop, I don't have to use my knee to sign my name. Accessibility is so important and I appreciate the credit union caring. It's very difficult and discouraging to do business in places that do not have this option," said SECU member Tai Martin.
The teller counter upgrades took a year to complete and were implemented in over 100 branches.
"It is always the mission of SECU to serve members in the most convenient way possible, whether through a new branch or upgrades to our existing facilities. We have members who are confined to a wheelchair or have limited mobility, and whether they need this service temporarily or permanently, SECU is committed to making all branches member-friendly and convenient for everyone," said Patty Munns, senior vice president of SECU's facilities services department.
Feeney Joins FIEC Panel
NASCUS has named Texas Credit Union Commissioner Harold E. Feeney to the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council's State Liaison Committee.
Feeney, who has been Texas' top regulator of credit unions since 1996, held several positions with NASCUS, including chairman. His term on the committee began April 1 and runs through March 31, 2011. He replaced Sandra Branson, director of the Missouri Division of Credit Unions, whose term has expired.
The council is made up of representatives of several agencies that regulate financial services, and it prescribes uniform principles, standards and report forms for the federal examination of financial institutions by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the FDIC, NCUA, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Office of Thrift Supervision. It is also charged with making recommendations that make regulatory policy more uniform.
SE League Elects Leaders
The newly minted League of Southeastern Credit Unions made its first major organizational move last week electing a new chairman, Richard Helber, executive vice president/chief financial officer of GTE FCU of Tampa, and picking its first executive committee.
The league, a combination of the Alabama and Florida leagues with dual offices for now in Birmingham and Tallahassee, also picked Alabaman Joseph L. McGee, president/CEO of Legacy Community FCU in Birmingham, as its chairman-elect.
Others on the executive committee include Vice Chairman Marry Ott Wood, Florida West Coast CU; Treasurer Dale Dalbey, Mutual Savings CU in Birmingham; and Secretary Steve Swofford, Alabama CU.
Members of the executive committee will serve for one year.
The LSCU Board consists of eight Alabama CU representatives and eight from Florida. Each state's previous board chairman became a member of the new combined board and selected seven board members from the respective states to serve on the LSCU Board.
"The board will have its first face-to-face meeting at the Alabama Credit Union League's annual meeting, which will meet Monday through Thursday" of this week at the San Destin Hilton in Florida, according to a statement from the organization.
The new league, which has been incorporated in Birmingham but is expected to have its headquarters in Tallahassee by year-end, said it will represent 332 Alabama and Florida credit unions with a combined $55 billion in assets.