MEA cautions Commerce Ministry about increasing phishing attacks against exporters

Amiti Sen New Delhi | Updated on July 01, 2021

DGFT advises export organisations, regional authorities to help implement security protocols

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has warned the Commerce Ministry on the increasing number of phishing cyber frauds taking place against Indian exporters.

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), under the Commerce Ministry, has in turn advised export organisations and all traders to implement necessary security protocols for protection.

“The MEA has informed that email spoofing/phishing cyber frauds are causing increased bilateral trade disputes. Though this is registered as a cybercrime in the respective jurisdictions of the country, the authorities cannot do much to reverse the transaction. The victims end up being the Indian exporters who after supplying the goods, have neither the goods in their possession nor have received payment for it,” according to a trade advisory issued by the DGFT addressed to export organisations, traders and regional authorities (RAs) of the DGFT on Monday.

The government has duly examined the matter and it was found that such problems can be largely resolved by implementing security protocols such as Sender Policy Framework (SPF), Domain Keys identified Mail (DKIM) and Domain-based Message Authentication Reporting & Conformance (DMARC), the advisory said.

SPF, DKIM, and DMARC are protocols for standard email signatures which meet various safety issues and all three must be implemented in order to ensure the best possible deliverability. All three prove that the sender is legitimate that their identity has not been compromised and that they’re not sending email on behalf of someone else. They are all based on the Domain Name System (DNS) of the domain.

The DGFT also suggested that better password practices be followed on both the senders’ and the receivers’ email address. It was also proposed that exporters could confirm bank details by another channel such as a secure voice line.

The RAs have also been asked to inform the trading community through their outreach programmes.

Published on January 04, 2021

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