What first appeared to be the second web-related bank scam in Australia in a week has transpired to be a fiscally harmless but very annoying case of cyber-squatting for Australia's oldest bank Westpac.
The bank has assured customers their funds and details are safe.
Technical advice received by IDG subsequent to earlier stories reveals there is no fake or clone site as such – rather a blatantly gazumped URL linking back to the bank's actual site. To their credit, Westpac promptly issued a statement advising of the "imitation" URL.
Westpac was not flattered, saying that its IT security team has taken immediate steps to "block the link through to www.westpac.com.au (the proper URL for the bank).
They have also called in the Australian Federal Police in an attempt to have the US hosted URL shut down. A spokesperson for the bank said that "Westpac views all matters of security and confidentiality with the utmost priority".
An independent security source who asked to remain anonymous said that the banks commonly explored "a range of legal avenues" to address such issues, describing one approach as "death by a thousand writs".