Phishing and the Peril of Fonts

I’m amazed at how lax domain registrations still are, despite the fact that phishing is now so much a household word that even my mum’s heard of it. But here’s another trick being used to try to dupe those people who still remain gullible: change the “o” in online to “c” because in many email readers it will look more or less the same:

Halifax2

Which it does, actually. Quite a neat trick, if you like that kind of thing. (There really is a Halifax Online, and the website address is exactly the same, minus the o/c thing. Even the homepage is the same Javascript login page as above, and everything looks the same minus a note at the bottom saying the bank never asks for personal details via email.)  Clicking on this link will take you to a webpage, that, surprise, surprise, looks very much like the UK’s Halifax Building Society:

Halifax3

I haven’t investigated it further, but I’m assuming the data entered quickly finds its way into the pockets of scumbags, and there’s probably some other nice bits and bobs being loaded onto one’s computer as it happens. The site is still live as of writing, with the address in the first screenshot above.

What amazes me is that the registrar won’t bat an eyelid at what is obviously a very dodgy domain name — Halifax being quite a well-known brand in the UK — and, indeed, even accepts the registration as a “private” one, and therefore allows the person registering the domain to not submit any address or phone number:

The registrant is a non-trading individual who has opted to have their address omitted from the WHOIS service.

The registrar in this case is PIPEX Communications Hosting Ltd, also known as 123-Reg.co.uk, whom I’ve asked to comment on this. Halifax is also being told about it, just in case they don’t know.

22. February 2006 by jeremy
Categories: Phishing, Scams, Security | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 comments

Comments (2)

  1. Pingback: The Global Perspective

  2. TRYING TO GET IN TOUCH WITH 123-REG AS I AM A VICTIM OF FRAUD ON THEIR WEBSITE AND THEY WONT ANSWER MY EMAIL. SOMEONE USED MY DEBIT ACCOUNT AND MADE A PURCHASE WITH THEM . DO YOU VALID PHONE NUMBER INCLUDING CITY CODE?