Monday, October 26, 2009

Avalanche More Than Name for Phishing Gang

A phishing gang that goes, not surprisingly, by the name of Avalanche has spawned a quarter of all phishing attacks in the first half of this year, according to a study by the Anti-Phishing Working Group, as reported in Network World.

The gang has been successful by registering domains at multiple registrars, some in small countries, and with stolen credit card numbers from those same countries, and then hop scotches around if one of the domains gets shuts down, the report says.

But, on the other hand, an indicator of phishing success, which the report calls "uptime," shows that registrars are getting savvy about Avalanche's tricks, especially because of its use of stolen card numbers. Apparently, as a result, Avalanche's uptimes, around 14 hours, are significantly lower than the phishing "industry" average, if you will.

Though not considered a phishing attack, rogue anti-virus programs are, like phishing, a form of social engineering, according to legitimate anti-virus vendor, Trend Micro. In this scam, which again resembles a phishing attack, a pop up window appears on a legitimate web site with a security warning. The unsuspected user then forks over cash to pay for protection, which never appears.

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