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    The popularity of online social networking sites has definitely caught the attention of phishers, in as much as they have treated online banking sites as very lucrative prospects for information theft. Just recently, PerfSpot.com was spoofed with the obvious intent to gather user information from unknowing users of this relatively new social networking site.

    In a recent development, the Trend Micro Content Security Team discovered a Web site with an apparent twist in its phishing technique. Below is a screenshot of the said phishing Web site:

    MSN Phishing site screenshot

    The said phishing site does not mimic the legitimate login page of MSN and even explicitly displays the phishing URL as http://{BLOCKED}friender.info. What it does is that it guises itself as an MSN “social networking site,” tricking users into provide their MSN logon information such as email addresses and passwords.

    It should be noted that the official MSN social networking platform is MSN Spaces, which is now officially known as Windows Live Spaces. This phishing site, however, only uses the word MSN minus the logo and related branding material. Nevertheless, its phishing technique remains unique since it entices potential victims to sign up with their MSN accounts, purportedly to gain access to their friends’ photos.

    The use of social networking sites poses as an effective bait by online phishers considering the steady rise of new social networking users. It can be seen that tens of thousands of new users sign up by the hour, while new social networking sites emerge by the day (see TechCrunch for the latest ones). Developers do not seem to mind that the industry is already crowding up with these sites, with users maintaining multiple online profiles—providing online phishers more reason to set up bait.





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