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Friday, May 06, 2005

Phishers Using New Methods To Steal User Information


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Yahoo News Reports That Phishers Using New Methods To Steal User Information

Elizabeth Millard, newsfactor.comThu May 5, 1:37 PM ET

Phishers have been changing tactics recently in an effort to avoid detection and steal user information, according to researchers at security software firm Websense.

In a recent report, Websense and the Anti-Phishing Working Group have noted that there is a rise in the use of keyloggers, programs that record the key strokes of users.

A phisher who has this type of information would have access to passwords, account numbers and other personal data.

In the past, attackers have relied more heavily on e-mail messages that trick users into clicking onto a malicious Web site or handing over their usernames and passwords for online financial sites.

Log Roll

During every week in February and March, Websense reported 10 new keylogger variants as well as more than 100 new Web sites set up to infect computers with the malicious programs.

That is an increase from last November and December, when Websense found only 2 new variants and about 15 new Web sites per week.

Phishers have employed other techniques in the past as well, including exploiting bogus news feeds and taking advantage of mistyped Web addresses for major sites like Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN - news) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG - news).

Being Oblivious

The spreading use of keylogging indicates a trend in phishing activity of removing user interaction from the phishing process.

Already, attackers have found a way to create e-mail lures that do not require user behavior to infect a machine.

Keyloggers, also, would not necessarily need a user for download. These could be placed in an e-mail message that downloads the program automatically even if a user does not open the attachment.

Wait and See

The increasing sophistication of phishing efforts has been expected in the security industry, said Sophos senior technology consultant "

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