Feeds

Cybercrims target Xmas shoppers

Be careful out there

High performance access to file storage

'Tis the Christmas season and while consumers are surfing the net looking for the perfect gift, fraudsters are lying in wait to trip them up. This year's holiday season is widely expected to generate more online sales than ever before, with consumers flocking to the internet looking for that elusive gift. Although using the internet can take the headache out of Christmas shopping, security firm CyberGuard warns that cyber criminals are using phishing and pharming to steal consumers' identities and cash.

"Consumers need to be more careful than ever when they shop online," according to Paul Henry, a security expert from CyberGuard, who explained that organised criminal gangs are targeting online consumers with ever-more-sophisticated blended phishing attacks, which combine two or more attack strategies. An example is when attackers find out details of the intended victims' interests through the use of spyware and then generate phishing e-mails tailored to lure them into giving away their identities.

Phishing, which is a relatively new phenomenon, has evolved over the past year; in 2004 phishers relied on socially engineered e-mails, with trademark spelling and grammar mistakes, urging consumers to "click here" on an embedded link in an email. As awareness of phishing has grown, fraudsters have had to develop more sophisticated tactics in order to trick consumers into parting with their personal information. To that end, the use of embedded Java script and Active X applets is becoming more common in phishing emails. These scripts and applets can automatically place a graphic image of the expected legitimate URL on top of the address bar within the browser to hide the actual address that the browser is really being directed to.

Henry explained that consumers now need to validate websites before inputting their personal data. To do that consumers can right click on a web page within a browser and view the properties of the page, which should reveal the actual URL.

While phishing is one of the more recognisable online threats, perhaps a more serious risk is pharming, according to Henry.

Rather then relying on social engineering and lack of awareness, pharmers rely more on their technical skills. By exploiting un-patched software using malware, they can compromise internet DNS servers on personal computers to redirect consumers to illegitimate websites where they can harvest their personal financial information. These methods eliminate any of the telltale signs that the surfer has been directed to a fraudulent website.

To avoid being caught off guard this Christmas, CyberGuard has released a series of security tips, urging consumers to never click on an embedded link in an email; to never fill in personal information via email; to register with a credit card security system that requires a password to authorise a transaction; and, perhaps most pertinently, to use common sense - if an offer looks too good to be true, then it probably is.

Copyright © 2005, ENN

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
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
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
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
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
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

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.
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.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.