Phishing Scams Exposed

I just read an interesting report issued by Symantec Australia about the current rate of internet fraud carried out via social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Bebo.

The report stated that for the last six months of 2007, there were nearly 90,000 cases of “phishing” found, which increased by more than 150% on the first half of the year.

What is a “phishing host”?

A phishing host is a fake website that is setup in order to fool people into thinking that they are entering their login or personal details into their e-mail account, bank account, etc. You all have probably come across a phishing scam telling you to confirm your bank account details or something similar.

Why are social networking sites dangerous?

These kind of website are dangerous because of what people enter into them. If you look on some people’s profile, they have their name, location, age, date of birth, school, workplace, relationship status and their list of friends. I have even seen some Facebook profiles with mobile phone numbers.

Organisations are collecting your private information and selling it on the internet black market for about US$1.

Most of the money made from stolen information is then put back into the organisation to develop new ways of creating attacks on users. Professional programmers are being employed to develop these new threats.

The new threats come in the form of viruses and worms, mostly being developed in the United States, Russia and China. The next generation of malicious code will be aimed at attacking portable media such as USB keys, MP3 players and even mobile phones.

So if you have a profile on a social networking website, don’t give out too much information as it may be stolen and the proceeds used to develop new ways of attacking us users.

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