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Sunday, April 30, 2006

Neighborhood Phishing Watch - Fried Phish!

CNET News.com reports on PIRT, a Neighborhood watch for phishing launches.

CNET writes:
Despite industry efforts, phishing is still on the rise, and experts predict that scams will become increasingly sophisticated. A record 9,715 phishing Web sites were spotted in January, according to an Anti-Phishing Working Group paper (PDF here). The PIRT group aims to get consumers more involved in the phishing fight and bring down malicious sites more quickly.
In that PDF is included this interesting bit:

• Number of unique phishing reports received in January: 17,877
• Number of unique phishing sites received in January: 9715
• Number of brands hijacked by phishing campaigns in January: 101
• Number of brands comprising the top 80% of phishing campaigns in January: 6
• Country hosting the most phishing websites in January: United States
• Contain some form of target name in URL: 45 %
• No hostname just IP address: 30 %
• Percentage of sites not using port 80: 8 %
• Average time online for site: 5.0 days
• Longest time online for site: 31 days

Many phishes were not being reported by anyone so the sites remained up and remained as sources of potential identity theft. In some ways, this is like turning the other cheek when you see a crime in process.

One of the most amazing and simple things to do, is that if people would just turn off the HTML in their incoming email, they would immediately be able to see phishing mails for what they are.

There's really not much one can do when people want their email formatted like a webpage with hidden code and scripts underneath! People who read their email in plain text are less vulnerable to hidden code in their emails.

Some links that explain this and show how to turn off HTML in many email programs:
About.com Security with plain text email
More Whys, and How to fix most email programs

My interest in Internet security is quite high because of many aspects of the jobs I do online.

On my sidebar, I always have a link to the About.com Antivirus site and a feed for the latest news. I also include a feed for Internet Hoaxes because not only are many people susceptible to security breaches, but there's a lot of forwarded nonsense from the nicest people who forward things just in case it might be true.

I'm finding it a lot faster for me to submit the phish URLs to the PIRT Fried Phish site. Hopefully they can make a difference, but I trust if the job gets overwhelming, they will also turn the problem URLs to the appropriate authorities who may have more resources in this battle.


Semavi Lady woofed at @ 4/30/2006 03:28:00 PM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

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