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The BBC's Greg Wood
"They risk loosing the confidence of their customers"
 real 56k

The BBC's crime correspondent, Stephen Cape
"An organised attempt by organised gangs"
 real 28k

Egg spokesman, Gary Clifton-Marshall
"We have absolute confidence in our systems"
 real 28k

Consumer Association spokesman, Alan Stephens
"Many companies won't reveal hacking attempts"
 real 28k

Thursday, 24 August, 2000, 20:17 GMT 21:17 UK
Egg fraud fears grow
Egg's website
Egg has lost of tens of thousands of pounds in an alleged fraud at the internet bank, sources close to the investigation have told the BBC.

Sources told the Nine O'Clock news that the fraud extracted "substantial amounts" of money.

But Egg continues to insist that the fraudsters, who attempted to establish bogus accounts, only stole a nominal amount of money from the bank, in which Prudential has a majority stake.

The news raises fresh fears about online security and comes as the National Crime Squad decides to widen its probe into fraud at internet banks.

Multiple applications

The alleged fraud was a simple deception using fake names and addresses on multiple applications for savings accounts and loans.

Egg has admitted that some cards were issued.

Egg, which has 1.1 million customers, stressed that no money was stolen from individual accounts, and that none of its computer or security systems had been breached.

"In no way have any of our customers suffered," Gary Clifton-Marshall, the bank's operations director, said.

All banks, not just internet ones, faced the same level of security risks in such cases, Egg claims.

It was advanced software which can spot multiple applications coming from the same computer, and which Egg installed two months ago, which had led to the arrests on Wednesday, the bank added.

On Wednesday, three men were released on police bail after being arrested by officers investigating the break-in.

The men were arrested in dawn raids by officers of the National Crime Squad on seven homes around Milton Keynes following a six month investigation into internet fraud at Egg. The men were released without charge.

In no way have our customers suffered


Other banks at risk

The National Crime Squad confirmed that other internet banks may also have been targeted.

An NCS spokeswoman said the possibility of attacks on other online banks came to light after studying the arrested men's computers.

There have been a string of security concerns about internet banking in the UK.

Last month Barclays temporarily shut its internet banking service after a fault in new software allowed some users to see other customers' accounts.

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23 Aug 00 | Business
Internet bank fraud probe widens
24 Aug 00 | Sci/Tech
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Egg shares rise
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Abbey National launches Cahoot
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Prudential puts price on Egg
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