Feeds

Florida man indicted over Katrina phishing scam

Hurricane season

SANS - Survey on application security programs

A Florida man has been charged with setting up a phishing website that sought to cash-in on the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Instead of collecting money for victims, Jovany Desir, 20, of Miami, Florida, allegedly tried to trick sympathetic marks into handing over banking details through a bogus American Red Cross website.

Desir is further charged with selling phishing tackle that allowed other ID crooks to establish bogus websites more easily for approximately $150 each.

Desir was indicted over these alleged offences, as well as establishing phoney banking and online payment sites between July and October 2005, by a federal grand jury in Western Pennsylvania, AP reports.

Targets of his alleged scams included PNC Bank in Pittsburgh, eBay, PayPal, and two Canadian financial organisations as well as the Red Cross, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review adds.

Prosecutors allege one of the bogus Canadian banking websites, purportedly representing Banque Nationale, was visited 8,500 times by users apparently searching for the legitimate site. The five-count indictment omits an estimate of how much Desir might have gained through his various alleged scams.

The prosecution is separate to the one against Gary Kraser, a Florida man who was charged with four counts of fraud after receiving $40,000 (£22,700) in donations to fund mercy flights to the victims of Hurricane Katrina he never made.

Net security firm Sophos notes that Hurricane Katrina is far from the first disaster to have captured the imagination of bottom-feeding scammers.

Earlier this year, the FBI warned of a scam website that sought to prey on Good Samaritans seeking to help the sole survivor of a mining accident in Sago, West Virginia to "pay medical bills".

The January 2005 VBSun worm spread via emails posing as a plea for relief money to help victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami just days after disaster struck. If activated, the worm set about harvesting addresses for its further distribution as the infectious attachment of email messages while attempting to launch a denial of service attack on a particular German-based hacker website. ®

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
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
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
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
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.