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Phishers Attacked Students of College of William and Mary

According to the news published by The Flat Hat in the third week of April 2009, the IT Department of the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia (US) discovered 450 phishing e-mail messages from the two million e-mails processed by the College's server in the first week of April 2009.

In the latest case, only one student from the current semester replied to the phishing message, while 29 students from the previous semester had sent reply to phishing messages. Out of 29 students, 4 students' accounts were hacked by spammers before IT Department identified the problem and blocked access to those accounts.

Matt Keel, IT Security Engineer, College of William and Mary, has said that after accessing the account, spammer use the hacked accounts for sending fake UK lotteries, as reported by journalismclass in the first week of April 2009.

Moreover, spammers use various attractive text messages such as - the e-mail recipient has won... send the processing fees and the winning award will be immediately sent- typically around $2 Million. These messages look very lucrative and innocent victims send the processing fee without thinking twice.

Keel further revealed that some of these phishers made decent amount of money by crafting more sophisticated schemes. Moreover, it is understood that professionals have written these scams.

In line with Keel, Chuan Yue Ph.D, another known professor at the Campus, said that this was one of the most difficult Internet security problems, as reported by The Flat Hat on April 17, 2009.

Yue also disclosed that phishing e-mails came with links to malicious websites that resemble the legitimate website. Website designers lure innocent people by inserting links in phishing e-mails.

The malicious link secretly installs a keystroke logger that captures the information loaded by user on the machine including bank details. After collecting the information, it is sent to the virus creator. Sometimes the virus causes hacked systems to log on to website simultaneously, which, in turn, overload the website with traffic and shut it down.

In fact, phishers and spammers are finding new, effective, sneakier ways to corrupt the computer. Internet phishers are winning the fight between criminals and researchers, sates Keel.

Related article: Phishers Expand Their Sphere of Attacks

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