This week’s Loose Wire column is about phishing trojans:
A FEW WEEKS AGO I talked about the dangers of “phishing” e-mails (Look Out! It’s a Scam, Feb. 5) that fool you into thinking that they are from your bank or from a transaction-oriented Web site like eBay or PayPal, then lure you to a Web site where they get you to give away your private data, such as passwords and log-on profiles. I wish I could say that since writing things have improved. Sadly they haven’t.
The Anti-Phishing Working Group, an industry body set up a few months ago, reported 176 new unique phishing attacks in January, a 52% increase over December. In the time it’s taken me to write this column I’ve received nine phishing e-mails, all of them good enough to keep me guessing about whether they’re legit or not.
And now there’s something new to worry about: viruses that take a short-cut through this process by insinuating their way into your computer, then recording all your keystrokes when you type in passwords to access Web sites such as your Internet bank account. So far, there are not too many of these viruses–or more accurately, Trojans–but expect to see more of them: Asian and Australian banks seem to be a particularly popular target.