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Phishing - The New Game In Town

Mar 11, 2008
We are all familiar with e-mail phishing, or at least we should be. It is common to receive dozens of fake e-mails from fraudsters on any given day. Sent in html, they look real in many respects. To the unwary, these fake e-mails can lead to financial disaster if opened and acted upon.

But are you aware that this is only one of a number of types of phishing. There is one type that is growing and is very hard to detect by the even the most experienced of Internet users. It is sometimes referred to as "rogue DNS servers" or "servers that lie." It is a type of phishing that is growing more popular by hackers.

In its simplest terms the, the rogue dns server tranlates the domain name of legitimate sites into spoof sites that are designed to look like the real thing.

It is important to understand that a critically important part of the Internet's infrastructure is the DNS system. This system allows computers to talk to each other. This scam is designed to effect computers that are infected with one or more viruses. The viruses are designed to infect and alter dns inquiries and redirect them to the bogus sites. These sites, in turn, can range in difficulty to detect.

While some of these fake sites can be easily detected as phonies by misspelled words or bad grammar, others are not so easily detected. The latter can be very good copies that have the look and feel of the original legitimate site.

These fake sites are loaded with ads from which the hacker can reap incredible profits. They can also be loaded with malicious codes designed to further infect the victim's computer. The main idea here is that the hacker is trying to steal personal information from the infected computer. This information can be in the form of log in data, to other personal and financial information.

Another interesting fact is that the hacker controls how often the infected computer actually sees the fake site. By doing this, he can limit the number of times the victim's computer returns false dns searches. This makes it harder to detect as a problem.

While most security softwares can detect and eliminate the viruses that alter the victim's computers, it is not enough. Some of the latest browsers have been updated to check the site's certifications and warn the user if something is wrong. The warnings can be in the form of a Windows type warning to having the address bar turn red when the site is suspect or the site's certificate is out of date.

These visual warnings should be taken very seriously. It can mean the difference between your computer being compromised or kept relatively safe.

This type of phishing can be defeated by purchasing a good virus and spyware protection software. There are many of them out there. You should purchase one and set it up. Then keep it updated to protect your information from being stolen. Remember to scan your computer at least once a week. For heavy Internet users, scan more often. It can mean the difference between a reasonably secure computer and a compromised one.
About the Author
Ryan Smith is the author of the hot, new, blog "The 10 Commandments of ID Theft Protection" Learn more at http://www.e-profitsubmissions.com/wordpress
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