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WorldPay under attack

Online payment system offline

Online payment service WorldPay is still been targeted by DoS (denial of service) attacks, which is bad news for its customers.

The WorldPay service, part of the Royal bank of Scotland, was first targeted on Tuesday. A huge flood of bogus requests to the company means the "pipe [between WorldPay] and the outside world has been blocked," said Simon Fletcher, head of marketing. "The problem is that this is also our email route to customers."

The payment system, used by hundreds of companies including electronics giant Sony and mobile operator Vodafone to provide a safe electronic payment facility to their customers, is functioning normally at the moment but, as these are sustained attacks, it is impossible for the company to specify when normal service will resume.

WorldPay is quick to stress that customer details have not been compromised in any way.

"The aim was to knock the service offline through false requests," said Fletcher. "We have a number of contingency plans in operation and hope to offer a normal service as soon as possible."

The company has drafted in extra telephone operators to notify customers of the problem.

Meanwhile, eBay has once again found itself at the hands of spoof emailers, with fraudsters this time concentrating on its electronic payment service PayPal.

A spoof email currently in circulation informs customers their account has been placed on restricted status. To reinstate it, users are advised to visit a website and enter their credit cards details.

"All details are handled online, we would never email customers asking for private details. This email is definitely a spoof and customers should ignore it," said a company spokesperson.

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