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Who Has Your "Phished"
Stolen Data?

 

                Where Could Your “Phished” Stolen Data End up?

   Phishing is an attempt to fraudulently obtain sensitive information from someone, such as credit card details, user name and password.

   Computer Users are often deceived by Instant messaging or an email message that directs them to a false website where they are asked for sensitive information.

   These requests can come from popular websites like Facebook, MySpace, eBay, Yahoo, etc.

   Another part of this deceitful phishing process is achieved by "keylogging" where keystrokes and mouse operations are recorded, and screen shots are captured enabling access to the
Protected Storage Area in Windows. This is where Internet Explorer stores passwords
    

  According to an Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) recent report(*) - the number of crimeware web sites used to host phishing and pharming attacks, spoofed web sites, and other sites that host malware of various types more than tripled between July 2007 and July 2008.

   The updated APWG study shows that phishers are constantly adapting as they find new opportunities and react to anti-phishing efforts.

 
Your Phished Stolen Data - where it might end up

   Security researchers are concerned that identity thieves and hackers are not just using phishing and keyloggers to steal sensitive data but the information captured in this way is often placed on unprotected FTP sites(a method that allows users to copy files between their local system and any system they can reach on a network) making it available to anyone who encounters it.

   These FTP sites are packed with stolen information from all over the world and in many languages. The data held there includes Hotmail, Yahoo and other email account information, IP addresses, other usernames and passwords, etc.

   Criminals use complex and sophisticated methods to sift through these data to find what they are looking for, like passwords, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, etc.

   Despite the obvious dangers, there are still many people who neglect PC security and use their PC without anti-virus protection or spam blockers.

   If your PC is unprotected, criminals can place and use surreptitious programs on your PC to contact the web. Therefore, it is essential that your firewall is capable of protecting your PC from this type of danger - not all built-in firewalls do.

Take particular note the following safeguards:
 
Don't react to urgent or excitable requests for personal information.
        Remember that banks do not ask for password details via email.

Don't click on embedded links - type the website address directly into
       the web browser. Contact your bank if you are suspicious.

Note that e-commerce companies usually personalize their emails.
      Always check the website address line to verify.

Criminals are now replicating the "https://" that appears when you are
      on a secure server. They are also duplicating the yellow lock that
      appears at the bottom of the page which contains the security
      certificate number for the site. If you get a message saying that the
      security certificate number does not match the site address you should
      close your browser.

Install a web browser toolbar that identifies and protects you from
      known phishing websites.

Report all phishing attempts as soon as possible.

(*) The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) is dedicated to reducing identity theft and fraud through monitoring and combating phishing, pharming, and email spoofing.
http://www.antiphishing.org/

Tags: phishing. keylogging, phished stolen data, password
                                                                         
                                                                          .. Richard Rossbauer
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