Feeds

AOL sues mystery phishers for $18m

Trawl

Remote control for virtualized desktops

AOL filed three civil lawsuits against several major phishing gangs on Tuesday as part of the ISP's wider fight against identity theft scams and other internet security threats.

The suits (overview) cite Virginia's anti-phishing statute, adopted in July 2005. AOL's suit also uses the Federal Lanham Act (trademark law), and the Federal Computer Fraud & Abuse Act.

The ISP is seeking damages of $18m against unnamed groups who targeted AOL and CompuServe members with fraudulent emails that attempted to trick them into handing over confidential personal information (such as AOL screen names, passwords, and credit card numbers) to bogus websites that mimicked the appearance and feel of official AOL or CompuServe websites. According to the lawsuits, these phishing fraudsters used "vast resources and creativity" to design hundreds of fake websites. AOL has kept tens of thousands of examples of phishing fraud emails transmitted by these gangs.

Curtis Lu, senior VP and deputy general counsel at AOL said: "At AOL, we are using every legal and technical means at our disposal to drive phishers from the AOL service, not only to protect our members, but to make the internet a better, safer place for all consumers. The phishers targeted in our lawsuits spoof a variety of prominent internet brands, including AOL."

According to the Anti-Phishing Working Group almost 50,000 phishing websites were created last year, with more than 7,000 appearing in December alone. AOL said it is committed to fighting spamming and phishing both legally and by using technologies such as its recently introduced certified mail programs. It said it blocks an average 1.5bn spam emails a day, approximately 80 per cent of the email traffic sent to users' in-boxes. AOL also blocks delivery of emails with web links to known phishing sites. Access to known phishing sites is also blocked for users of AOL Explorer browsers. The ISP partners with anti-phishing firms MarkMonitor, Cyveillance and Cyota in delivering providing protection against phishing attacks. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.