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058 211 21 00

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Banque Cantonale de Genève
Quai de l'Ile 17 - CP 2251
1211 Genève 2

Fax : +41 58 211 21 99

CCP CHF12-1-2
CCP EUR91-518772-8
GIIN:   CGGLK0.00000.LE.756

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The Swiss Confederation, via the Reporting and Analysis Centre for Information Assurance (MELANI), has informed banks of the possibility of attacks on Swiss e-banking clients.

This new attack, named « Retefe », mainly targets clients who log on to their e-banking facility using SMS codes.

For the time being, all appropriate measures have been taken by the relevant Swiss authorities dealing with cyber crime to block and prevent access to pirate forwarding sites: nevertheless, we advise you to remain vigilant and to follow the recommendations below.

What types of telephone are targeted ?
  • Telephones that use an Android operating system are targeted by this attack but it is not impossible that this attack could target other types of smartphones.

How is the attack carried out ?
  • Hackers send a junk mail (spam) containing a malware (Trojan horse). By clicking on the link received in the spam, the client releases the virus which installs itself on the computer. The malware deletes itself once the infection has been successful.
  • When the client logs on to his e-banking, he is redirected to a pirate site which mirrors that of his bank.
  • He is then invited to install a false application on his smartphone which transfers incoming SMS messages to the hackers.

What is the aim of this attack ?
  • The aim of this attack is to infect the computer and the smartphone of an e-banking user.
  • Once these two devices are infected, the hacker collects all the e-banking access codes (user no., password and SMS code) needed to log on, replacing the client, and to execute/validate new payments.

How should you react to this type of attack ?
  • Your common sense remains your best defence mechanism. Your bank will never ask you to install an application which is not referenced on its website, which does not come from and is not downloaded from the official stores/markets (AppStore, Google Play, etc.).
  • If in the slightest doubt, do not log on to your e-banking facility and contact your e-banking hotline as quickly as possible.

How can this type of attack be avoided ?
  • An anti-virus software must always be installed on your computer – and, whenever possible, on your smartphone – and updated regularly.
  • The firewall on your equipment must be activated and regularly updated.
  • The operating system and browser installed must be current versions, similarly all the programmes installed, such as Microsoft Office, Adobe Reader etc.
  • The utmost care is recommended when e-mails from an unknown source are received: do not click on the attachments or any web links contained in the message.
  • It is advised not to follow up any proposals from unknown sources to install an application or a purportedly new «security certificate on the smartphone».
  • Only install applications from the official stores (Google Play, AppStore, etc.)
  • For Android users :
    • Make sure that the « Unknown sources » option is disabled in the security settings.
    • Make sure that the « Check applications » option is enabled in the security settings.
  • If you are not familiar with computer security and you have concerns about using SMS authentication, you can opt for authentication systems which do not require a network connection and which operate in « Airplane mode » with a smartphone consult the CrontoSign Swiss solutions proposed by the BCGE.
  • Lastly, follow the security recommendations available on our site to enable you to surf the internet safely.

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   Banque Cantonale de Genève
   Case postale 2251
   1211 Genève 2
   Tél: 058 211 21 00