Phishers & Keyloggers: From Russia with Love (not)

All this talk of security and viruses, and what happens at home? We get stereo stomach flu (with both our kids down today with a virus).


So, while I take a brief break as they’re both asleep and I try to catch up on mail, here’s a quick note to say that I’ll finish off my week of posts this weekend on the different ways Microsoft is working on improving your computer experience.


But… I have to post this quick quote just IM’ed to me from a friend at the office, on the road way out east (‘though this was my favourite quote of the week). Turns out this friend at the office reads my blog.

“You need to check this article [on grabbing keystrokes]  out [from the Washington Post]. I saw the posts on your blog this week [about phishing, Trojan Horses and passwords] and then this morning I saw this!”

The article in the Washington Post is about how an unsuspecting web surfer who received an e-mail, alerting him that a fraudulent charge had been made to his credit card account. Little did he know that the email wasn’t from really his credit card company: when he clicked on the web link to help him get the charge off his credit card charges, the web site actually installed a Trojan horse on to his computer. Moments later, the app sent his personal info to someone that didn’t have his best interests in mind:

“(Graeme) Frost is just one of thousands of victims whose personal data has been stolen by what security experts are calling one of the more brazen and sophisticated Internet fraud rings ever uncovered. The Web-based software employed by ring members to manage large numbers of illegally commandeered computers is just as easy to use as basic commercial office programs.


“Frost’s data, along with information stolen from thousands of other victims, made its way to a Web site hosted by a Russian Internet service provider. The site is currently the home base of a network of sites designed to break into computers through a security hole in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer Web browser.”

As I mentioned earlier this week in my post on phishing, the Microsoft Phishing filter add-in for the MSN Search Toolbar provides offers access to a new dynamic online service, updated several times an hour, to warn you and help protect your personal information from these fraudulent Web sites. The add-in dynamically checks the web sites you visit and gives you a warning if the sites are suspicious. It blocks you from sharing personal information if a site is a known phishing web site. The online information in the add-in is regularly updated.


Good luck, stay healthy and wash your hands: the kids are bringing home viruses of their own.


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7 replies on “Phishers & Keyloggers: From Russia with Love (not)”

The reference to Russia comes from the article in The Post, which said that they found that the victim’s data (captured by the leylogger) "made its way to a Web site hosted by a Russian Internet service provider." The site was "viewed by a reporter… which is not naming because it remains active."

The server may be in Russia, but the hackers who created the keylogger and may be mining the data could be anywhere.

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