Tuesday, May 17, 2005

More Identity Theft Scams

An article in the Wall Street Journal discusses "Evil Twins" and "Pharming."

"Many consumers have grown savvy to 'phishing' scams, which use fake emails that appear to come from banks or other businesses to con recipients into supplying personal data over the Web. So fraudsters have come up with new tricks to steal identities online that are even harder to detect...
Evil twins are wireless networks that pretend to offer trusty Wi-Fi connections to the Internet like those available at some coffee shops, hotels and conferences. On a laptop screen, an evil-twin Wi-Fi hotspot can look identical to one of the tens of thousands of legitimate public networks that consumers log on to every day, sometimes even copying the sign-in page. But that's just a front, and fraudsters who set up the connections attempt to capture any passwords or credit-card numbers that consumers using the link may type.
In pharming, thieves redirect a consumer to an imposter Web page even when the individual types the correct address into his browser. They can do this by changing -- or 'poisoning' -- some of the address information that Internet service providers store to speed up Web browsing. Some ISPs and companies have a software bug on their computer servers that lets fraudsters hack in and change those addresses... Pharming victims type the legitimate address in their Web browsers and end up at phony sites anyway...
'All of the burden rests with the user, who's probably the least able to fix these things or recognize them,' says Mr. Ullrich."

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