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Phishers getting desperate?

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Tuesday January 15, 2008 )

I just received a note that my World of Warcraft account had been suspended due to “Involvement in online trading activities”. I’m not a World of Warcraft member, nor have I ever played the game. Looks like the phishers are getting desperate.

Most of the phishing emails I get are related to PayPal or one of a thousand banks I don’t have an account with. The fact that these pond-scum sucking individuals are now broadening their scams is a goods heads up to observe the wisdom of the great philosopher; Fox Mulder – “trust no-one”.

Phishers are simply using a shotgun type approach – pick popular online services, crank out the notes. While a shotgun isn’t the most accurate of weapons over distance, it still works. What gets me is how many people still fall victim to these scams, even after being online for years.

If you’re not sure if a communication is legit or not and it requires you to log into an account where unauthorized persons could potentially wreak havoc, either view the source code of the email and see where the link leads or (and preferably), don’t click on the link; go directly to the service provider and log in from their site.

As someone who works in the web hosting industry, it never ceases to amaze me how much mail is either PPP (pills, pr0n, poker), Nigerian 419 scams or these phishing attempts. While the filtering used by most hosts and ISP’s has gotten so much better over the years and most people only see a small fraction of what’s headed to them thanks to it; filtering doesn’t address the source of these resource hogging communications. I hate to think how much is spent on infrastructure each year to try and keep our inboxes clean.

Related:

Viruses and spam – how they wind up in your inbox
Anti-spam filtering – free trial
Spyware – definitions, statistics, prevention and removal



 

 
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