ABECU Distributes Free Anti-Phishing Software

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The $680-million Anheuser Busch Employees CU is giving its members software that helps protect against "phishing."

"It is an add-on piece of software to Internet Explorer that analyzes the web pages that a person visits, and if it detects a fake page, a page trying to imitate us, the user will be alerted," said David Gray, the credit union's electronic services manager.

A window pops-up to alert the user, he said. ABECU is giving it for free to its 72,000 members so that they can choose whether to download it, he said.

"WholeSecurity's yearly subscription pricing starts at $50,000," Gray added.

WholeSecurity, a company based in Austin, Texas, that also sells software against worms, Trojan horses and keystroke loggers, calls this product the Web-Caller ID.

"Phishing attack victims lost $1.2 billion to identity theft fraud in the twelve months ending April 2004 and U.S. companies bore most of the costs," said Avivah Litan, research director at Gartner Inc., according to WholeSecurity's web page.

An April 2004 Gartner survey showed 57 million American adults had been exposed to phishing, the web page said.

Other customers of WholeSecurity's products include Deutsche Bank and e-bay, the company said.

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