Feeds

Free and subdomain hosting lets phishing sites live longer

Chinese now cop flak as well as PayPal, Western banks

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

A growing numbers of phishers are using free domains and subdomain to register net fraud sites, a move that seem to have allowed phishing sites to stay online longer.

Official figures from the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) records that around 11 percent of all phishing attacks took advantage of either the free .TK domain registration service or the CO.CC subdomain service during 2H 2010.

The Group found that 11,768 phishing websites were hosted on subdomain services, up 42 per cent from the first half of 2010. The increased use of the sub-domain tactic seems to be designed to make it harder to get offending sub-domains taken down. As a result of this, in part, the time offended domains get to live has increased to a three year high.

Median uptimes exceeded 15 hours 19 min in 2H2010 compared to 13 hours 42 in the first half of 2010 and 11 hours 44 in the second half of 2009. Other stories have shown that the time phishing sites can stay online is closely linked to their short-term profitability.

Chinese e-commerce sites and banks are increasingly targeted in phishing attacks, a diversification from the usual target of PayPal and Western banks.

In total 67,677 phishing attacks were launched in 2H 2011, far more than the 48,244 recorded in the first half of last year but far less than the 126,697 recorded in 2H 2009 at the height of phishing on the Avalanche botnet. The increase between the first and second half of 2010 largest comes from new data about Chinese emails scam.

Phishing attacks are far from spread out uniformly over the web. Sixty percent of the attacks occurred against four TLDs: .COM, .NET, .TK, and .CC. Meanwhile 78 per cent of the world’s malicious domain registrations were made in just three TLDs: .COM, .TK, and .NE

Among the total of 42,624 phishing domains found in the study, APWG reckons 11,769 (28 per cent) were registered maliciously by the phishers. Of those, 6,382 were registered as part of attacks intended to trick Chinese users into handing over their net access credentials. The other 30,855 suspicious domains domains were made up of either hacked or compromised but otherwise legitimate websites. Malicious registrations took place on 56 TLDs, the APWG further reports.

Internet Identity CTO Rod Rasmussen is due to unveil the finding of the report (pdf) at the APWG Counter eCrime Operations Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia later on Wednesday. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
British data cops: We need greater powers and more money
You want data butt kicking, we need bigger boots - ICO
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.