Feeds

IE phishing scam exploit unearthed

Master of disguise

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Security researchers have discovered a way for scam artists to disguise more effectively the location of bogus Web sites.

A flaw in IE displays URLs in the address bar takes the old trick of fooling users into visiting dodgy sites to the next level.

The true destination of scam email is commonly disguised by fraudsters using misleading URLs of the form www.highstbank.co.uk@fraudsterscrooks.ru.

As explained here, the weird looking address takes advantage of the fact that anything between "http://" and "@" will be ignored in directing potential victims to scam sites.

That still leaves the weird looking URL - but this can be disguised by hiding a "0x01" character after the "@" character.

Internet Explorer doesn't display the rest of the URL, making the page appear to be at a different domain, for example Microsoft.com - as an test exploit demonstrates.

The problem affects IE 6.0, according to preliminary tests. Other versions of IE could also be affected.

Information on the vulnerability was posted on BugTraq yesterday, at the same time as Microsoft was notified.

So obviously there's no fix from Microsoft as yet.

The first defence against phishing scams is to never hand over confidential financial info in response to email requests. Well it's either that or switch to a different browser, at least until Microsoft issues a fix.

Since adopting a monthly patching regime, Microsoft has issued its patches on the second Tuesday of the month, something that didn't happen yesterday.

So it looks like we'll have to wait for patches for the latest problem, and a series of unrelated security vulnerabilities with IE discovered by a Chinese security researcher last month, for another month at best. ®

Related Stories

Gone Phishin'
Halifax suspends e-banking site after phishing attack
Email scammers target Halifax, Nationwide, Citibank
UK banks and police proffer anti-phishing advice
Scripting flaws pose severe risk for IE users

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS
Agency forgets it exists to protect communications, not just spy on them
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.