Say hello to Vishing

One of the great things about reporting on IT matters - apart from hoisting one's carcass from the bed at unearthly hours to get cheap flights at 0630 hours - is being `there' when new IT terms are coined.

At the Online Information show in London this week, for example, I was talking to a communications company which explained that fraudsters are now using Voice over IP calls to phish for account details from unsuspecting punters.

The technique, I am told, is called Vishing, short for Voice Phishing, and involves sending an informational email to a punter with a `click- to-talk' URL inside the message.

Hapless recipients think the email from their bank/whatever is real and click on the URL, and then get an IP telephony call back in a matter of seconds.

At this stage, of course, the fraudsters start off their social engineering banter and prise account details from the punter. And you can guess the rest.

On investigation, it turns out the marketing fop at the show had picked on the Vishing term from a copy of USA Today - the US equivalent of UK `red top' papers - the previous morning.

I checked out the USA Today report on Vishing and, yes, it does exist, and is already a major problem.

But Vishing - yeah, I think I like that term....