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Malware Authors Give Away Free Phishing Kits

Malware writers are handing over free kits containing phishing tools to fraudsters in exchange for victims' confidential financial information, according to a report from RSA.

Phishing toolkits are increasing and are available for free from their creators. The kits can be obtained on Websites that operate as underground forums. There is no money involved in procuring the kits. They are offered to criminals to help them in attacks against banks or financial institutions. The kits often have code included that is designed to send back the stolen personal data of victims to both the malware author and the fraudster delivering the phishing e-mail.

The report highlights that digging out stolen testimonials is the key motive for the kit designers to willingly give away their tools rather than ask for a price for them.

As institutions underpin their online security defenses, fraudsters too hunt new ways by which they can trick innocent people and steal their secret information, money and assets, said Christopher Young, VP of Consumer and Access Solutions Group at RSA. ITPRO reported this on August 8, 2007. While such attacks are still labeled as 'next generation', RSA thinks they would spread widely during the next year and a half, Young said.

According to SecureWorks, during June-December 2006, the company prevented attacks from 808 hackers per bank per month. From 1st January 2007 through June, on average, 1,462 hackers targeted attacks on each of the bank clients of the company.

There was a frightening amount of financial data seized from users since the beginning of the year, said Don Jackson, a security researcher with SecureWorks. Jackson also discovered the Prg, Gozi and BBB Trojans. Information Week reported this on August 2, 2007. These trojans alone stole data worth millions of dollar and deposited them in their repositories. There were thousands of credit card and bank account numbers, online payment accounts, Social Security numbers, and usernames and passwords, Jackson said.

According to the authors of the RSA report, the rise in the number of such threats was at the time of forum discussions held among criminals about 'curl attacks', the name given to these attacks by cyber-criminals.

Related article: Malware Authors Turn More Insidious

» SPAMfighter News - 22-08-2007

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