Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Phishing emails

In computing, phishing is a criminal activity using social engineering techniques. Phishers attempt to fraudulently acquire sensitive information, such as passwords and credit card details, by masquerading as a trustworthy person or business in an electronic communication. Phishing is typically carried out using email or an instant message, although phone contact has been used as well. Attempts to deal with the growing number of reported phishing incidents include legislation, user training, and technical measures.

The first recorded mention of phishing is on the alt.online-service.america-online Usenet newsgroup on January 2, 1996, although the term may have appeared even earlier in the print edition of the hacker magazine 2600. The term phishing is a variant of fishing, probably influenced by phreaking, and alludes to the use of increasingly sophisticated lures to “fish” for users’ financial information and passwords. The word may also be linked to leetspeak, in which ph is a common substitution for f.

Anti-phishing software is available that may identify phishing contents on websites, act as a toolbar that displays the real domain name for the visited website, or spot phishing attempts in email. Microsoft’s new IE7 browser, Mozilla’s Firefox 2, and Opera from version 9.1 will include a form of anti-phishing technology, by which a site may be checked against a list of known phishing sites. If the site is a suspect the software may either warn a user or block the site outright as shown in the pictures above. Firefox 2 uses Google anti-phishing software, which may also be installed under IE6. Spam filters also help protect users from phishers, because they reduce the number of phishing-related emails that users receive. An approach introduced in mid-2006 (similar in principle to using a hosts file to block web adverts) involves switching to using a special DNS service that filters out known phishing domains, which will work with any browser

Sites have added verification tools that allow users to see a secret image that the user selected in advance; if the image does not appear, then the site is not legitimate. Bank of America uses this together with challenge questions, which ask the user for information that should be known only to the user and the bank.

click here for a phishing email sample and links to anti phishing sites.

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49 comments:

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Not everyone is phishing and scamming. Look at the Top 5 Network Marketing Companies.

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Xprez said...

I think there are some people who would do everything to get their site listed on high PR blogs... (the site above is one ex..)

Thaknx for much usefull information on the topic "Phishers". Now i know what to stay away from... ;)

dave.edmund said...

Yes, that paypal login page is a fake!

I was at a client's office the other day and she showed me an email from a friend of hers. It was a purported website that if you entered your name and state would show you your driver's license. Well, of course this has been floating around for years as a joke (after you press submit, a driver's license appears with a monkey's photo).

But this reminded me of one of the reasons we fall for phishing scams. These "joke" emails often resemble the newfangled phishing. When I saw her email, I had forgotten about the monkey joke, but knew it was phoney. She didn't.

Back to the main topic, phishing. Phishers have a way to get their info out on the web and into our mailboxes. They have a way to make us talk about them all the time. That's what we need to do as marketers. I've been using Artemis Pro to submit my work, my blog, my articles, my site throughout the web, much like a phisher. Sometimes automation can work in a good way!

danaoflowe said...

I've seen that monkey site before. What a hoot! But it just goes to show how prevalent phishing is and how easy it is for people to fall for it.

I also use Artemis Pro to submit to the search engines and online publishers. I got so tired of doing it myself, I felt it was worth the investment. And it certainly was. The money I spent on Artemis Pro has paid for itself many times over.

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Aurelius Tjin said...

That's one of the most notorious criminal activity online. I mean people spend a lot of money, time and effort to build their list in a legitimate way possible and all this phishers are just trying to do the an easy way out. This isn't fair.

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Jeff said...

It seems that ISP are also responsible for this. Otherwise, how the spammer are getting these email IDs. Today, every email box is full of spam. I see my gmail account always, and spam folder is always full of more than 100 bulk emails.

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