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UKFast ISP Warns of Valentine SPAM

Posted: 10th Feb, 2005 By: MarkJ
UKFast has begun warning email users to be vigilant of SPAM as Valentines Day approaches. The amount of SPAM is surging, but of more concern are the emails enticing consumers to visit spoofed websites (Phishing), such as banking or retail pages, in order to steal personal details:

Messages offering cheap flowers, chocolates or even last minute trips away could be a lot more hazardous than people realise.

In 2004 Web portal Lycos Europe reported a 500% increase in the number of phishing email messages it was catching. The Anti-Phishing Working group also reported that the number of phishing attacks against new targets was growing at a rate of 30% or more per month. And with Valentines online spend increasing by 40% year on year it’s a time to choose romance carefully.

Already in the US one bank is being sued by a customer who lost over $90,000 to a phishing scam originating from an Eastern Europe crime base. The result of the case will set certain precedents regarding who should be held responsible for keeping personal information secure.

UKFast became aware of the potential danger early in 2004. Using a variety of protection technologies and filtering techniques Webcop was designed and extensively tested before being rolled out in time for the Christmas email deluge.

Also on the horizon is the more sophisticated threat ‘Pharming’, which doesn’t require emailing. Hackers use DNS hijacking to reroute your browser from a website address to one almost identical in name and content which then proceeds to take your details. “Such intelligent online warfare will be very difficult to counteract,” admits Lathwood. “But Ukfast are working on innovations to protect our online community over the coming months.”
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