Cloudmark Research Exposes Underground Phishing Networks

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Cloudmark has released a report they commissioned on phishing and identity theft..the results are pretty interesting:

SAN FRANCISCO, June 30 /PRNewswire/ — Cloudmark Inc., the proven leader in secure messaging from the desktop to the gateway, has completed groundbreaking research that describes for the first time howloosely-affiliated — but surprisingly organized — phishing networks prepare, launch and distribute money stolen through phishing attacks. The report entitled, “The Economics of Phishing” will be published by FirstMonday next month.


Of all the different types of email and messaging threats, phishing is perhaps the most insidious. It has eroded the brand of many well-known organizations, stalled their ecommerce initiatives and even compromised sensitive corporate and customer data through direct attacks. However, the most malevolent aspect is phishers scamming unsuspecting users out of thousands of dollars in life savings and ruining their credit reputation for years to come. Phishing differs from other email or Internet intrusions in that phishers aren’t merely marketers trying to attract the attention of a user nor are they hackers seeking to disrupt computer networks. Phishers are criminal members of a highly organized economy of supply and demand where the only purpose is to steal personal identities and money.

Among the report’s findings:

— Through the phishing “marketplace,” phishers obtain and purchase
separate bits of information such as target email lists, scam page templates,
and a ready supply of compromised hosts that ultimately result in numerous but
otherwise unrelated attacks

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— Phishing networks depend on a confluence of highly-specialized
skillsets, so phishers need not be especially tech-savvy to jeopardize hosts

“Our goal in publishing the findings of our phishing report is to alert businesses, consumers and other security vendors that phishing is not a scattershot operation,” said Vipul Ved Prakash, Cloudmark’s chief science officer. “It’s highly organized and extremely effective in duping even the most sophisticated computer users into compromising personal information that leads to identity theft and drained bank accounts.”

“The public is finally catching on that phishing is a threat, but most security vendors tasked with protecting them aren’t doing a very good job,” said Gary Iwatani, president and COO of Cloudmark. “The only way to develop effective solutions for combating phishing is to understand the complex infrastructure in which phishing economies thrive.”

 

Many highly phished sites and financial institutions are taking extensive measures to ensure their members’ protection. Cloudmark offers them a free download of SafetyBar, an anti-phishing/anti-fraud toolbar powered by Cloudmark that only allows valid emails into a user’s inbox to eliminate inadvertent visits to criminal sites.

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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