Phishers Launch Attacks to Steal Money during US Election Campaign

As the preparations for the 2008 US presidential election gear up, candidates are going online to announce vital issues on social networking sites, primarily YouTube. More importantly, they are using the Internet to raise funds for their campaign.

But according to security researchers, the candidates and online donors face serious risk from phishing scammers. These risks arise when phishers try to rob unsuspecting donors off their money and also cheat competing candidates, according to Director Oliver Friedrichs of the security response team at Symantec. Sci-tech-today published this news on October 10, 2007.

The threat could be significant, Friedrichs continued while referring to earlier elections that suffered the blows of cyber crime. InformationWeek published this on October 10, 2007.

In 2004, when the campaign by Kerry-Edwards led to the use of the Internet for the first time to interact with constituencies, phishers targeted the campaign with two attacks.

One of them was fairly traditional in which the phishers posing to represent the candidate attempted to extort money. In the other, phishing e-mails tricked recipients into calling number 900, which resulted in a call charge of $1.99.

Four years thence, the situation has aggravated. While phishing has taken an epidemic form, there are more than 1,000 phishing scams every day. This implies that phishing probabilities and their consequences are fairly high, Friedrichs said.

He also foresees that a fake campaign could launch a phishing assault to steal money intended as donations for a candidate.

The huge number of newly registered typo domains demonstrates that. The corresponding sites receive visitors' traffic arising because of misspellings or incorrect typing of URL names of the campaign Websites. The sites also behave as places to divert visitors after fooling them with phishing messages and also as a platform to trigger security exploits.

Symantec has detected 58 typo domain addresses for the Website of candidate Hillary Clinton, 52 for the Website of Barak Obama, 34 for the Website of John Edwards, 20 for the Website of John McCain and 18 for the Website of Mitt Romney. InformationWeek published this on October 10, 2007.

Related article: Phishers Expand Their Sphere of Attacks

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