December 31, 2004Timely Phishing
I don't have the stats to back this up, but it seems as though phishing scams frequently arrive on Friday evenings, especially when the destination of the bogus link is to a hijacked server somewhere. My guess as to this timing is that it will take longer for the company being used as bait to reach the administrator of the hijacked server—allowing the privacy-ripping page to trap victims for a few days.
Three identical PayPal phishes arrived within the past few hours. The operative link in each is to an IP address of what appears to be an unprotected (and otherwise unused) server located in China. Even if recipients report this to PayPal, how long will it take from a Friday New Year's Eve for PayPal to reach the ISP in the Liaoning province of China and get them to shut down this scammer? Will the ISP even care or understand the nature of the problem?
In the meantime, untold numbers of PayPal customers will be frightened by the notice that "Your account access will remain limited until this issue has been resolved" and will click a link that, on the surface, looks legit. Underneath, however, the link takes them on a voyage to China, where they will unwittingly yield their user IDs, passwords, and who knows what other private information to an identity theft gang that could be anywhere on the planet. For the victims, the start of 2005 will be a Crappy New Year.Posted on December 31, 2004 at 05:52 PM