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Phishing Sites Explode on the Web


The number of unendorsed computer attacks and people who suffer from this is constantly growing. Even the new built-in filters in Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 2 can not entirely protect the data.

In November 2006, the last month for which data is available, the Anti-Fishing Working Group found 37,439 new sites, up an astounding 709 percent from the 4630 sites in November of 2005.

Last October, both Mozilla and Microsoft presented new versions of their browsers that use blacklists to block access to known fishing sites. In response, inventive fishers are flooding new fake Web sites onto the Internet too quickly for them all to be shut down or blacklisted.

The alarming ease with which the fraudsters changed course, plus other new fishing tactics, makes some security experts say that fishers have the upper hand in the war against online fraud.

"Ultimately," warns Zulfikar Ramzan, who is a senior principal researcher with Symantec's Security Response Group, "technologies that rely heavily on blacklists are going to be useless."

Heuristic scanning may help combat the scourge. Instead of depending on a blacklist of known fishing sites, it analyzes a site's behaviour, looking for techniques commonly used by phishers. IE 7 uses heuristics, as does the free SiteAdvisor browser add-on for IE and Firefox.

Another good advice specialists give people to protect theirselves is “Never click a link in an e-mail or on a third-party site to go to any of your financial accounts. If, instead, you always use your own bookmark or type in the address, even when you're 100 percent certain that the e-mail is legitimate, you should be safe”.

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