Tech Insider

Sunday, March 27, 2005

New Phishing Attacks Target Yahoo! Messenger

If you get a message from a buddy asking you to click on a link to a Yahoo! page, better to delete the message or ask for clarification from the sender. Why? well it could be a spim message(spamming on IM). Phishers have now set their sights on the world of instant messaging (IM). The first target is the Yahoo! Messenger.

The Phishers send an innocent looking message from someone on your contact list. The message directs you to a bogus Yahoo! Page, which will request you to login using your Yahoo! ID & password. Phishers can then hack into your PC using the information supplied by you. Access to your financial information is got via the same way.

Yahoo! confirmed that its messenger was under attack but said that it did not appear to be a widespread problem. Yahoo! spokeswoman Terrell Karlsten issued a statement saying, "Phishing is an industry-wide issue, and one that Yahoo! takes very seriously. A key defense in the fight against phishing is consumer awareness, and Yahoo! has made it a priority to help educate consumers so that they are empowered to protect themselves online."

However, Francis Costello, the chief marketing officer of Akonix Systems, which specializes in IM solutions for corporations, warned, “With this year's explosive growth in IM worms and attacks, organizations can not afford to leave their IM users unprotected and unmanaged," Costello says that phishing attacks on IM is bound to increase as there are no specific controls in place for IM whereas e-mail has become more secure.

Earlier this month, Microsoft's MSN Messenger was the target of a worm called "Kelvir" which allowed the hackers to enter the users PC and steal information. In July AOL was targeted in a phishing attack.

Source: EarthTimes

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