Phishers hook up to Web 2.0

There's something unusual about a phishing scam doing the rounds, which uses a news hook--a fake report that Australian Prime Minister John Howard has had a heart attack--to try to lure in victims. That's not new--worm wranglers have turned to Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein to get people to click on dodgy links. What is interesting is that the hackers are using Web 2.0 technology in their scam.

People who fall victim to the scam download a Trojan horse to their computer that records their keystrokes and Internet activity, according to security company Websense. So far, so normal, as phishing techniques go.

But the malicious software also records the IP addresses of the infected PCs. The hackers can then pinpoint the physical location of the machines using Google Maps software. That could be useful to know if the fraudsters intend to pose as the victims.

Web 2.0 has come under the security microscope--although more as a potential weak point than as a handy tool for attackers. Hackers are known to be fast to pick up on new tech tricks. What's next?

About the author

    Karen Said is an assistant department editor for enterprise coverage.

     

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