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Top Law Enforcement Office Fails to Recognize A Phishing E-Mail

Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna is focusing his attention on Internet scam perpetrators and identity thieves. But quite unknowingly, McKenna, on Wednesday May 16, helped an Internet phishing scam in seeking victims. Seattlepi.nwsource published this as news on May 16, 2007.

The phishing scam started when an e-mail posing from Bank of America Corp. sought account information from a list of e-mailers that normally communicated with the press. Although the message got the approval from the state's mailing list software, a security program redirected it to McKenna's office for the final signal of approval.

The turn in the incident came when instead of seizing the scam, an employee inadvertently submitted to a Web link that released the message through, spokeswoman Kristin Alexander said.

The fake e-mail actually tried to 'phish' an online theft technique that sends e-mail messages appearing realistic from banks or other financial institutions thus tricking users into falling victim.

Soon McKenna's office called attention to the fake message and put stronger security measures to its online address list. Alexander admitted the irony of how a daring online con artist hacked the e-mail of the highest law enforcement officer in the state.

She further said that her office's first step would be to see that the scam harmed no one. The next priority would be to ensure it wouldn't happen again. Seattlepi.nwsource published this in news on May 16, 2007.

McKenna always stood against phishing sites and spam mails. In February 2007, he filed a lawsuit charging three advertisers affiliated to the Internet in California as well as against their business entities.

The accusation on the defendants was that they sent unsigned "Not Send" messages to end-users' computers. That resulted into transmission of bundled software that modifies Internet browser home pages. It also marketed programs to erase registry by using spurious free scans.

The Anti-Phishing Working Group reported that the sheer volume of phishing attacks rose by 5% in March to 24,853 from February. But in January, the attacks were even higher at a record level of 30,000. The heaviest targets were on financial services accounting for 91% phishing assaults.

Related article: Top malware INF/Autorun Proliferating Through USB Sticks

» SPAMfighter News - 5/23/2007

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