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Home » Hacking News » Phishers get around

Phishers get around

by Nikola Strahija on August 27th, 2005 According to a study by Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) phishing attacks are becoming more sophisticated, using malware designed to steal identities. APWG's July 2005 phishing reports adds that fraudsters are developing approaches specially designed to neutralise counter-phishing technologies.


APWG researchers reported an increase in disturbing screenscraper technology used by phishers, an approach designed to counter graphical keyboard systems that banks sometimes use to protect against conventional key-logging Trojans. When a consumer selects a character on the graphical keyboard using his mouse, the screenscraper takes a snapshot of the screen and sends it to the phishers' server, in one example intercepted by the researchers.

Despite the emergence of this more sophisticated technique keylogging Trojans remain a popular option. There were 174 phishing-based Trojans detected in July, up from 154 in June. The majority of these Trojans lay in wait on sites hosted in either Brazil or the US.

-The technological contest between phisher and counter-phisher is well and truly underway, said APWG Chairman David Jevans. -It is a contest of escalation.

Around 14,135 unique phishing reports were recorded by APWG in July, down from 15,050 in June. In July 2005, 71 brands were reported as being phished, down from a high of 107 different brands phished in May 2005. Financial institutions made up 86 per cent of all phishing targets, down slightly from a recent high of 91 per cent. And it's not just the big names that are targeted any more. Phishers are beginning to hit smaller financial institutions and ISPs.


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