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Phishing Toolkits Readily Available Online to Create Fake Sites

After presenting a paper at the Usenix Conference at San Jose, California, security researchers - Christopher Kruegel, Giovanni Vigna and Marco Cova - from the University of California, Santa Barbara, revealed that the big phishers and developers of phishing toolkits, depend on the small phishers for their deployment.

Moreover, according to the researchers, there are numerous phishing toolkits on the Internet, about 379, of which 129 contain backdoor Trojans. These kits are from 21 different distribution Websites.

Furthermore, the researchers found that majority of active backdoors containing phishing toolkits transmitted hacked data to e-mail accounts, while two kits stored hacked data in a folder on the server hosting the phishing site, while one forwarded the data to an external server via a POST request.

Meanwhile, phishing kit developers, trying to hide the characteristics of their applications, frequently make their codes confusing and add comments on them to discourage alterations that might disable the backdoors in them.

However, security researchers said that comments such as "Don't need to change anything here" could invite suspicion rather than allay it. Therefore, users and security companies can use these comments to distinguish a fraudulent site from a real one.

Also, according to the findings by the security researchers, the phishing toolkits targeted 49 separate organizations, primarily auction sites, banking institutions, gaming portals and e-mail providers. Further, after obtaining the toolkits from distribution Websites, the five targets were Bank of America with the use of 21 kits, eBay with 19 kits, HSBC with 18, Wachovia also with 18 and PayPal with 15 toolkits.

Moreover, as per security investigators and security assessors, potential phishers can purchase or get without paying any fees, phishing toolkits that consist of the files essential to create a copy of a targeted site as well as craft scripts to commit theft of information from phishing victims. But, according to the findings of some security examiners, while these phishing toolkits are widely obtainable from the Internet, they can also be unreliable, as they might be carrying malicious content.

Related article: Phishing With A Redirector Code

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