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Astounding Phishing Activity this Thanksgiving Weekend

Global leader in Web and e-mail security appliances, Barracuda Networks Inc., reported that phishing sites increased by over 10% and the volume of phishing e-mails had increased three times in just one day on November 23, 2007.

Web and e-mail security provider, Barracuda, based in Campbell, said that these increases suggest the active work of scammers and their malicious networks in an attempt to exploit the 'Black Friday' of November 23 2007, the year's biggest day for shopping and also the weekend continuing from the Thanksgiving Day of November 22, 2007.

Barracuda Networks found that an incredible number of fraudulent Websites that targeted frequently-visited shopping Websites like Amazon, PayPal, eBay and other sites for e-commerce were created on the Thanksgiving Day. A typical phishing site is constructed by using a compromised computer of an unsuspecting business and is immediately withdrawn when the business is notified.

However, phishers who exploit the Thanksgiving weekend, which lasts for four days and when businesses in the US shut down on Thursday and Friday, think their sites would run uninterrupted, as there is no business working to close them down.

The series of phishing Websites on Thanksgiving weekend has also resulted in a surge of e-mails diverting innocent consumers towards the sites in the pretence of offering big sales and great deals. Such e-mails trick recipients into confirming their account information by luring them to visit the phony sites via a link.

President and CEO, Dean Drako of Barracuda Networks, said that usually, there is a rise in phishing operations on the days before a normal weekend of Saturday-Sunday but on November 23, there had been an astounding increase in the number of phishing sites and the corresponding e-mails in just a single day. Business Journal published Drako's statement on November 23, 2007. Drako further thinks this year's phishing tendency on Thanksgiving Day would carry on for a few more days.

To remain protected against phishing attacks on the weekend of November 23-25, 2007, Drako suggested that consumers should visit the online shopping site by manually typing the URL and not by clicking one that comes via e-mails.

Related article: Accidental Disclosure of USC Student Data on Internet

» SPAMfighter News - 12/6/2007

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