Lawsuit virus, trickier pfish mar Internet

March 9, 2006

E-mail users were warned Thursday about a smarter form of pfish and a virus that comes disguised as a threat of a lawsuit.

The security firm MicroWorld Technologies said the latest virus threat isn't hidden in a come-on for porn or get-rich-quick schemes, but instead as a message from a supposed collection agency threatening legal action on an unpaid debt that urges stunned recipients to click the fateful link for more information.

Pfish mongers on the Web have designed a new pfishing technique that is less likely to be reported as spam to the user's Internet service provider.

According to RSA Security, the new pfish uses a hidden redirect address that links to a live Web address that contains a "smart redirector."

When the potential victim clicks on the link, the redirector checks all related pfishing Web sites, identifies which sites are still live, and redirects the user to one of them.

"These pfishing e-mails look no different than any other," said RSA Senior Vice President Naftali Bennett. "All the action takes place behind the scenes, so as always users need to remain vigilant."

RSA said the tweaked pfish have thus far attacked one bank in Great Britain and another in Canada.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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