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SophosLabs Discovers Phishing Scam Against ANZ Bank

Analysts from SophosLabs, the Internet Security Company, have detected a phishing scam that is targeting consumers of the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ). The scam involves e-mails posing as SSL update notice from the bank.

The e-mail's 'From' space, which is spoofed, makes the message appear as if it is from a genuine address like evsslupdate@anz.com. The text of the e-mail tells the recipient that his 'Internet Banking' account requires to be revised to the bank's new SSL so that it becomes possible to attach additional securities to his account.

A URL is also given in the e-mail that apparently leads to the online banking login page which stated that the user's account would be updated once he signs-in. The link, in actual, connects to an UK-based server that, in turn, redirects the victim onto an Italian server.

Though the login web page showed is an imitation of the real page from the website of the ANZ bank, but the details filled on the online form are saved locally. And once the sensitive data is submitted, the victimized user is diverted onto an authentic error page of the ANZ site with the message that the process of logging in has failed.

Says security researcher Matthew Asquith at Sophos that the error message is cleverly chosen and would probably make the victim think that he might have mistyped his password and so he would start typing the credentials again. This, the victim does with the least suspicion that someone in the process is skimming off his details, Asquith elucidated. Softpedia reported this on April 3, 2009.

However there is an unusual aspect of this scam i.e. the server receiving the stolen data for the cyber crooks is short of even the basic protection, thereby making the data file containing usernames and passwords apparently open for anyone to view. Researchers who examined the files have drawn the conclusion that luckily only about 5 persons have fallen victim of the scam.

Said the security experts that while such mishaps by online scammers might make investigators' job easier, it could mean grave consequences for users whose details might land up in miscreants' hands. Thus, users are advised to be cautious of such scams asking for online login details.

Related article: Specially Trained Researchers to Intensify Hunt for Cyber Criminals

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