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'Freeware' phishing kit dupes s'kiddies

Dishonour among thieves

Website security in corporate America

Skilled malware authors have duped less skilled cybercrooks into doing their dirty work with a new phishing kit.

A "freeware" phishing kit posted onto hacker forums poses as a way to set up fraudulent websites pretending to be, for example, PayPal or webmail providers. Spam emails masquerading as security checks are then distributed to hoodwink the credulous into handing over their login credentials.

The proxy hackers will record some success, potentially stealing scores of credentials before their fake sites are taken offline. However, secret backdoor functionality in the Login Spoofer 2010 phishing kit means that the vast majority of stolen credentials are sent back to the original authors of the hacking tool, not the proxy hackers who use it.

The approach allows the original authors of the phishing kit to harvest thousands of web and payment service credentials without monkeying around with spam campaigns by delegating the spade work to their unwitting minions. The "automated, cloud-based phishing kit" was developed in Algeria and features Arabic tutorials but runs in English, database security firm Imperva reports.

A blog post by Imperva, containing screenshots of the kit and its dashboard, can be found in a blog post here.

Imperva warns that the cloud-based approach taken by the scam turns takedown efforts into a game of whack-a-mole. "Unlike previous phishing kits that have been available for years, this new approach lives in the cloud and relies on hackers exploiting other hackers," is said. "And with the new cloud-based approach, the infrastructure for this phishing kit never goes away." ®

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