Feeds

Phisherman's friend: Confused hacktivists deface FAKE BANK SITE

Anon Ghost op is full of fail

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Anon hackers have been caught boasting about defacing a counterfeit Yorkshire Bank website.

Hacktivist crew Anon Ghost earned coverage on underground security blogs for defacing “Yorkshire Bank, one of the largest United Kingdom bank (sic)”.

However, the hackers actually hit "ybs-bank.com", a Malaysian imitation of the real Yorkshire Bank website – which can be found at ybonline.co.uk – as security researchers at Cambridge University point out.

The real website and that of a similarly named banking institution, Yorkshire Building Society (http://www.ybs.co.uk), were both unharmed and unaltered.

Ybs-bank.com, on the other hand, remains defaced as of late morning on Thursday with a message "We are watching you: Don't close your eyes" and a Japanese horror movie-themed clip complete with ominous music. Evidence from Google's cache suggests before this Ybs-bank.com was probably a phishing site.

"The pages appear to be an imperfect copy of www.cbmarkets.co.uk (a Clydesdale bank website) and this copy was was made some time in 2011, judging from the age of the news stories in the copy," writes security researcher Dr Richard Clayton, in a blog post on the Cambridge University Computer Laboratory's Light Blue Touchpaper blog.

"I have no reason to believe that anything good would happen to a Yorkshire Bank user (or a Yorkshire Building Society) user who used their credentials at the Malaysian-owned website,” he added.

According to Whois, the ybs-bank.com domain didn’t exist before 2011, Clayton adds. The whole incident illustrates the difficulty banks face in identifying and seeking the takedown of counterfeit sites, some of which rely on exploiting confusion about a bank's genuine online location.

The defaced domain has to be considered potentially harmful since malware might easily be served from the compromised site. This is unlikely to be Anon Ghost's intention, but why take the risk?

In any case, the article about their exploits is not one for Anon Ghost's scrapbook. Yet it is arguably a lot less embarrassing than an incident where hacktivists mistakenly attacked a French rugby fansite instead of their intended target, the German stock exchange. That misdirected assault meant the allezdax.com website, a fan site for French second division side rugby club Dax, was unavailable for two weeks back in 2011.

Pretty lame but for a complete fail try an incident the year before, when geographically mixed-up Algerian hackers defaced the site of Belvoir Castle, home of the Teddy Bears' picnic, instead of their intended target, Belvoir Fortress – a Christian outpost during the Crusades. ®

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Multipath TCP speeds up the internet so much that security breaks
Black Hat research says proposed protocol will bork network probes, flummox firewalls
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
Microsoft's Euro cloud darkens: US FEDS can dig into foreign servers
They're not emails, they're business records, says court
Plug and PREY: Hackers reprogram USB drives to silently infect PCs
BadUSB instructs gadget chips to inject key-presses, redirect net traffic and more
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
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.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?