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Article: Phishers get more wily as cybercrime grows


turetzsr
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...Full article: http://tech.yahoo.com/news/nm/20090417/tc_nm/us_cybercrime_2.

...Excerpts:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -

Phishing scams have grown up from the unsophisticated swindles of the past in which fake Nigerian princes e-mailed victims, who would get a big windfall if they just provide their bank account number.

Even as authorities try to stamp out that con and other e-mail and online scams, scammers are getting more wily and finding new loopholes to exploit.

<snip>

The U.S. government scored a big victory in November when the web hosting company McColo Corp. was taken offline. Estimates vary, but the Washington Post said that 75 percent of spam worldwide had been sent through that single company.

But the spam e-mails offering celebrity diets, cheap printer ink, erased credit card debt and amazing orgasms quickly found a new way to inboxes, according to Google's security subsidiary Postini.

Now spammers use a variety of computers to send out spam e-mails to obscure their origins, meaning that a dramatic McColo-style takedown will be harder to reproduce, said Adam Swidler, product marketing manager for Google's Postini.

<snip>

New technology means new ways to steal. One of the latest is "smishing," which is nothing more than a phishing fraud sent via SMS text messaging.

<snip>

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Since earlier this month ('cause that worm adjusted the botnets maybe?), my spam quadrupled and hasn't gone down. Some legit incoming email has been delayed for several days because the networks are plugged.

On the forum spamming, they seem to be using a trick now I noticed they experimented with last October (abouts) and that's using a proxy or computer IP once and never using it again... keeping them completely off Honeypot and StopForumSpam blacklists.

Sneaky little buggers.

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Since earlier this month ('cause that worm adjusted the botnets maybe?), my spam quadrupled and hasn't gone down. Some legit incoming email has been delayed for several days because the networks are plugged.
While that maybe what you are seeing, the internet in general is not seeing that. Click in the graph in the upper right corner of any forum page to see what SpamCop is seeing.

http://www.barracudacentral.org/index.cgi?p=spam

http://akismet.com/stats/

THere are lots of others if you search on spam graphs, but these were both companies I had heard of.

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Hello Steven,

I am well aware of that. I have checked the stats before I made my post.

It may be a local effect, because I'm not the only one (nor is my ISP) in southwest British Columbia... we are getting hammered.

Yet my friends in Alberta have seen an actual reduction.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Further on the subject of drive-by downloads and the connection to phishing, referenced in Steve's opening link:

http://www.darkreading.com/security/client...xt=&isPrev=

A group of researchers at the University of California-Santa Barbara boldly hijacked a notorious botnet known for stealing financial information and discovered that the botnet is even more dangerous than had been thought.
(re the Torpig botnet) The paper discussed in the above:

http://www.cs.ucsb.edu/~seclab/projects/torpig/torpig.pdf

Well, I guess they have to justify their funding somehow but, as the darkreading commentary goes on to note:

But the researchers' disclosure of details about the botnet and its victims -- naming banks and describing some of the online interests of users victimized by the botnet based on their Webmail messages and online forum posts -- also stirred up debate about whether the researchers gave away too much information about Torpig that could compromise efforts to eventually take the botnet down.
{sigh}, with 'friends' like those (researchers) tipping off the badguys ... Stay away from those 'interesting' websites where the devious downloaders likely lurk I suppose. Trouble is, it's more than just 'interesting' sites these days.
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