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Phishing Warning

by msecadm4921

It’s not only traffic around the shops that’s on the rise this holiday season, but Internet traffic from scammers is also on the increase according to CyberGuard Corporation.

Citing reports from the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) that indicate a 100 percent increase in the number of phishing sites between September and October 2004, Paul Henry, a senior vice president at CyberGuard, claims: "Between 80 and 100 new phishing Web sites are starting up daily. Scammers are getting much more sophisticated and they are harder for a user to detect."

Urging people to beware of e-mails offering holiday deals that seem too good to be true, Henry adds that consumers should be on guard against what he calls a particularly nasty new phishing scam this holiday season. While many common phishing cons involve fake e-mails from banks or other financial interests that lead individuals to fake bank sites, Henry warns consumers to take care when buying holiday gifts online this year because scammers are using fake e-commerce sites.

Henry explains how it works: When people search on the Internet for items they want to buy and click on a link, they are directed to a legitimate looking Web page and instructed to "Click here to download images" of what they want to buy. What they can end up downloading is a self-extracting zip file that installs a Trojan on their PC. Trojans can then redirect links to legitimate financial institutions to fraudulent Web sites allowing the scammer to harvest the user’s credentials.

"If it looks too good to be true," says Henry, "it probably is. Don’t let the Grinch steal your Christmas."

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