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Deceptive E-Mail Campaigns eBay Shutdown

An e-mail is circulating a message that online auction site eBay is approaching shutdown in end February. IT security firm Sophos has, however, warned it to be a phishing scam. The firm has cautioned that though the e-mail seems to come from eBay, it aims to steal users' information.

The e-mail says against half of eBay users disagreeing to keep this giant site running, users who want to keep eBay up and running must vote. This is actually a story framed simply to steal sensitive info from users. So when a user shows his/her consent to vote, he or she is led to a replica eBay page, which would grab all the necessary details off the PC of a less-aware user.

The fake e-mail reports that eBay was receiving repeated abuses on its company so it has decided to close on February 27, 2007. The company therefore requests the opinion of the recipient and wants to know whether the person agrees or disagrees. The recipient can make their choice by clicking either on YES or NO. The opinion of the recipient is important so if 50 percent of eBay participants vote positive, the site stays afloat otherwise it shall be shutdown, enumerates the e-mail.

Sophos found that a hacked server of a U.K. legal company hosted the phishing website. Sophos restrained from naming the company because it was a small setup, but assured having alerted the firm about the problem. As soon as eBay members hand over the information, cyber criminals could hack their accounts and make fraudulent purchases.

Describing the e-mail campaign as a probable promotion of some other thing, senior technology consultant for Sophos, Graham Cluley said that it is unlikely for people to believe that such a popular and prosperous website as eBay should consider closing its business. So the auction giant might have a different motive.

Cluley says this phishing campaign was not the most sophisticated one ever. However, it could result in unwitting surrender of user account particulars in the hands of hackers who obviously would use them to conduct fraudulent purchases or sales or commit other identity frauds.

Related article: Deceptive Grum Worm Lies on IE7 Beta Download

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