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Phishers are targeting the customers of banks and online payment services. E-mails, supposedly from the Internal Revenue Service, have been used to glean sensitive data from U.S. taxpayers. While the first such examples were sent indiscriminately in the expectation that some would be received by customers of a given bank or service, recent research has shown that phishers may in principle be able to determine which banks potential victims use, and target bogus e-mails accordingly. Targeted versions of phishing have been termed spear phishing. Several recent phishing attacks have been directed specifically at senior executives and other high profile targets within businesses, and the term whaling has been coined for these kinds of attacks.
Social networking sites are now a prime target of phishing, since the personal details in such sites can be used in identity theft; in late 2006 a computer worm took over pages on MySpace and altered links to direct surfers to websites designed to steal login details. Experiments show a success rate of over 70% for phishing attacks on social networks.
The RapidShare file sharing site has been targeted by phishing to obtain a premium account, which removes speed caps on downloads, auto-removal of uploads, waits on downloads, and cooldown times between downloads.
Attackers who broke into TD Ameritrade’s database (containing all 6.3 million customers’ social security numbers, account numbers and email addresses as well as their names, addresses, dates of birth, phone numbers and trading activity) also wanted the account usernames and passwords, so they launched a follow-up spear phishing attack.
Almost half of phishing thefts in 2006 were committed by groups operating through the Russian Business Network based in St. Petersburg.
Some people are being victimized by a Facebook Scam, the link being hosted by T35 Web Hosting and people are losing their accounts.
There are anti-phishing websites which publish exact messages that have been recently circulating the internet, such as FraudWatch International and Millersmiles. Such sites often provide specific details about the particular messages.
Most methods of phishing use some form of technical deception designed to make a link in an e-mail (and the spoofed website it leads to) appear to belong to the spoofed organization. Misspelled URLs or the use of subdomains are common tricks used by phishers. In the following example URL, http://www.yourbank.example.com/, it appears as though the URL will take you to the example section of the yourbank website; actually this URL points to the “yourbank” (i.e. phishing) section of the example website. Another common trick is to make the anchor text for a link appear to be valid, when the link actually goes to the phishers’ site. The following example link, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genuine, appears to take you to an article entitled “Genuine”; clicking on it will in fact take you to the article entitled “Deception”. In the lower left hand corner of most browsers you can preview and verify where the link is going to take you.
An old method of spoofing used links containing the ‘@‘ symbol, originally intended as a way to include a username and password (contrary to the standard). For example, the link http://email@example.com/ might deceive a casual observer into believing that it will open a page on www.google.com, whereas it actually directs the browser to a page on members.tripod.com, using a username of www.google.com: the page opens normally, regardless of the username supplied. Such URLs were disabled in Internet Explorer, while Mozilla Firefox and Opera present a warning message and give the option of continuing to the site or cancelling.
A further problem with URLs has been found in the handling of Internationalized domain names (IDN) in web browsers, that might allow visually identical web addresses to lead to different, possibly malicious, websites. Despite the publicity surrounding the flaw, known as IDN spoofing or homograph attack, phishers have taken advantage of a similar risk, using open URL redirectors on the websites of trusted organizations to disguise malicious URLs with a trusted domain. Even digital certificates do not solve this problem because it is quite possible for a phisher to purchase a valid certificate and subsequently change content to spoof a genuine website.
Read more from wikipedia:- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phishing
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The above article published for making awareness to the public about the phishing attack. Please inform all of your friends and relatives.