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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – When fraudsters started spear phishing at board members themselves, Jeff Bond figured it was time to get even more proactive. That hack attack and others like it were reasons the IT director at $250 million Florida Commerce Credit Union took TraceSecurity up on its offer for a free Web site authorization service. Called TraceAssure Manager, the service allows a credit union to simply register its domain name and IP address through a link on TraceSecurity’s Web site at www.tracesecurity.com. Users then download the TraceAssure Toolbar offered by the credit union. That toolbar utility will then recognize registered Web sites and let the user know the site is legitimate, sending up an “unknown” message if a malicious site attempts to impersonate a registered legitimate Web site. Phishing, of course, has become a major problem as fraudsters attempt to send unsuspecting online bankers to fraudulent Web sites and give up their access. Instead of simply sending the phish bait to thousands of people, many of whom have no relationship with the financial institution, spear phishing takes that a step further by aiming at a list of people who would have reason to believe the organization would actually be e-mailing them. “That happened to us, to a list of our board members,” Bond says. “And we had several other phishing attacks on us before that, one of which actually cost us a few bucks.” So he registered the credit union’s Web site – www.floridacommerce.org – with TraceSecurity after the offering was tested internally. “It was easy to use and it seems effective,” Bond says. “Now we just need to encourage members to use it.” That effort is under way. In addition to the toolbar, the Florida Commerce CU Web site also contains an alert to members that its debit cards won’t be honored for transactions originating from a list of countries that includes, among others, China, Romania and Australia, citing high risk for fraudulent transactions originating there. “We try to be proactive with security for our members,” Bond says. The CU also is considering the other part of TraceSecurity’s offer, a multi-factor authentication service with a beginning price point of about $5,000 per server and $3,000 per year for maintenance, says Jim Stickley, CTO and vice president of engineering for the Louisiana-based provider of compliance and security services to more than 350 credit unions. The service includes individual encryption to specific desktops, the ability to set up temporary keys and unlimited text messaging of keys to cellphones “so you can use it, say, at an airport kiosk,” Stickley says. -

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