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15 January, 2009

Phishing Tools Available Online

Tools that can help people potentially defraud innocent surfers are available for free download on the internet, it has been claimed.


The do-it-yourself kits provide all the essential tools for launching phishing attacks - those that use spoofed emails and fraudulent websites to trick people into giving out personal financial data.


Phishing scams are on the up. Security company MessageLabs has intercepted an average of 250,000 phishing emails a month so far in 2004, compared to just 14 phishing-related emails back in August 2003.


According to anti-virus company Sophos, the DIY kits contain all the graphics, web code and text required to construct fake websites that look like legitimate online banking or shopping sites. They also include spamming software which would let you send out millions of phishing emails as bait for potential victims.


“Until now, phishing attacks have been largely the work of organised criminal gangs, however, the emergence of these ‘build your own phish’ kits mean that any old Tom, Dick or Harry can now mimic bona fide banking websites and convince customers to disclose sensitive information such as passwords, PIN numbers and account details,” said a spokesman for Sophos.


“There is plenty of profit to be made from phishing. By putting the necessary tools in the hands of amateurs, it’s likely that the number of attacks will continue to rise.”


Surfers that receive a suspicious email that claims to come from an online bank or e-commerce site should delete them and not click on any included links.

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