Feeds

Free and subdomain hosting lets phishing sites live longer

Chinese now cop flak as well as PayPal, Western banks

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

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 next step in data security

More from The Register

next story
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator
We just might notice if you cut our cables
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.