The FBI has broken yet another ring of cybercriminals. More than 50 people are being held in the US and the rest in Egypt. Egyptian prisons have ways of making prisoners talk that make waterboarding look like a picnic in the park.
What is phishing?
Phishing is hackerese for “password fishing,” a type of internet fraud that attempts to obtain user names and passwords for sensitive websites. These are often in the form of spam emails that appear to come from a legitimate company such as EBAY or your bank. The emails typically warn you that your account has been compromised, and you must click a link and log on to a site to verify that you are the owner. The sites are often painstakingly convincing. Once you log in, the thief knows how to access your account.
Browsers often provide some degree of protection against phishing by identifying phony websites. Some software does the same, such as McAfee’s Site Advisor, which tests millions of sites every day.
- Make sure that phishing protection is enabled in your browser and email client.
- Use internet security programs from reputable software vendors.
- Use common sense. No legitimate company will ever email you and ask you to provide your username and password.
From The Telegraph
More than 50 people were held in the US, mostly in Southern California, Nevada and North Carolina, and the ret in Egypt.
An indictment filed in Los Angeles claimed Egyptian hackers used emails to direct victims to fake bank websites, where they were asked to provide account numbers. That allowed those behind the scheme to raid the accounts.
The arrests were the culmination of a two-year international investigation codenamed “Operation Phish Phry.”
The 51-count indictment accuses all the defendants with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud.
Some are also charged with aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to commit computer fraud.
FBI Los Angeles acting assistant director Keith Bolcar said: “The sophistication with which defendants operated represents an evolving and troubling paradigm in the way identity theft is now committed.
“Criminally savvy groups recruit here and abroad to pool tactics and skills necessary to commit organised theft facilitated by the computer, including hacking, fraud and identity theft, with a common greed and shared willingness to victimise Americans.”
The break-up of the scheme follows another security breach targeting thousands of Microsoft Hotmail accounts.
Cyber-criminals evidently used phishing tactics to dupe users of Microsoft’s free Web-based email service into revealing account and access information, according to the US technology giant.