UPDATE: Westpac Online Closed Down After Attack
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Westpac appear to have closed down their online banking operations after customers started receiving scam emails asking them to authenticate their log in details. Hundreds of thousands of customers who traditionally pay staff on a Thursday are set to be affected.

In a space of an hour, I personally got three emails headed “Westpac” that went on to say “I want to assure you that your accounts and your assets are safe with us, and that we put the utmost value on our relationship with you.

“As part of our efforts to meet the requirements of the Australian Financial Services Authority (FSA), we now ask all Westpac users to verify their account information. It’s a smart and simple way to add an additional level of protection to your account. 

Click to enlarge
Samples of three scam emails currently being syndicated

Here’s how it works : 
  • Click here to securely log on.
  • Complete our quick and simple form. 
  • Continue with your account session.”
Westpac at this stage are refusing to comment, however, their web site has been closed down, with all sections running a message that says “Online Banking not available, please try later.”
At this stage it is not known whether EFTPOS gateways in retail stores are still operating.

Since writing this story, a Westpac executive has contacted to say that the bank is not responsible for sending the emails and that “Yes” the website has been difficult to access for some customers due to problems with “mainframe access”.

“The site is available to 75% of customers, however, some customers will experience problems while this problem is being fixed”.