Follow Us

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

Phishing sites use whitelisting to keep out unwanted victims

Criminals try the Studio 54 approach…

Article comments

Businesses increasingly use whitelisting to keep the bad guys out but now it turns out that criminals are employing the same tactics to target favoured victims, security firm RSA has reported.

During 2012, the company saw a small surge in the popularity of plug-in modules for phishing kits that allow their users to aim attacks at specific targets in a way that excludes unintended victims.

Dubbed the “bouncer” attack (as in club bouncers), these generate user IDs for each target on the list, serving unwanted visitors a 404 for the same phishing site.

A huge surprise is the tiny scale of some of these attacks; 3,000 recipients was an average for campaigns.

Selective phishing isn’t new per se but its emergence as a more regular tactic is partly a response to the predation of security firms, who make a living from detecting, analysing and blocking attacks in real time. Keeping these researchers out buys the attackers more time.

A second motivation is simply spear phishing, campaigns that target specific enterprises with a view to setting up more complex advanced persistent threat (APTs) attacks at a later date.

“The peculiar approach is likely the work of a gang or a fraud service vendor supplying credentials to specific geographical regions and targets,” said RSA cybercrime specialist, Limor S Kessem.

As with most phishing websites these days, the pages on which these attacks hide will usually be hijacked blogs using vulnerable and poorly-managed open source content management systems. Hiding on legitimate domains is a way of hiding in plain sight.

“With phishing attacks popping up like mushrooms and then quickly taken down, arriving at a 404 page for a reported phish could present a detection challenge for the industry,” predicted Kessem.

Despite being one of the most established attacks, 2012 was a record year for phishing, RSA said, with recorded attacks up 59 percent over the previous year.

Global fraud damages from phishing rose to $1.5 billion (£950 million), up 22 percent on 2011.



Share:

More from Techworld

More relevant IT news

Comments



Send to a friend

Email this article to a friend or colleague:

PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the recipient know who sent the story, and in case of transmission error. Both your name and the recipient's name and address will not be used for any other purpose.

Techworld White Papers

Choose – and Choose Wisely – the Right MSP for Your SMB

End users need a technology partner that provides transparency, enables productivity, delivers...

Download Whitepaper

10 Effective Habits of Indispensable IT Departments

It’s no secret that responsibilities are growing while budgets continue to shrink. Download this...

Download Whitepaper

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving

Enterprise information archiving is contributing to organisational needs for e-discovery and...

Download Whitepaper

Advancing the state of virtualised backups

Dell Software’s vRanger is a veteran of the virtualisation specific backup market. It was the...

Download Whitepaper

Techworld UK - Technology - Business

Innovation, productivity, agility and profit

Watch this on demand webinar which explores IT innovation, managed print services and business agility.

Techworld Mobile Site

Access Techworld's content on the move

Get the latest news, product reviews and downloads on your mobile device with Techworld's mobile site.

Find out more...

From Wow to How : Making mobile and cloud work for you

On demand Biztech Briefing - Learn how to effectively deliver mobile work styles and cloud services together.

Watch now...

Site Map

* *