There was an interesting article posted by Sure Systems, on microsoft.com concerning the long ongoing Web-scam of spoofed Web-sites that are often involved with phishing scams. Phishing is when cyber-criminals attempt to acquire users’ sensitive online information, usually bank and email-accounts and passwords.
These cyber criminals utilize spoofed sites and other methods (including typo-squatting) to trick users into believing they are at their intended Web pages so they will enter online their personal information and the phishing program will forward that data to the cyber criminal and also forward the user to their actually intended Web-site.
What the Sure Systems article focuses primarily on educating users on how not to fall victim to these cyber-scams by using scam recognition and available programs/applications to decrease your chance of becoming victim to a cyber-criminal.
Sure Systems suggests a number of things to protect users from cyber-crime;
1. Do not rely on the address bar as a reliable indication that you are at the site you are.
2. Use Internet Explorer 8.
3. Avoid phishing scams (with Internet Explorer 8 be sure to utilize the Smart Screen Filter).
4. Be able to identify fake Web addresses (Internet Explorer 8 highlights the domain bar to make it easier to identify the Web-sites true identity)
5. Be wary of typo-scamming (to view a list of typo-squatted Web-sites concerning www.hotmail.com click here (its near the bottom).
Sure Systems goes on to highlight the fact that a number of these typo-squatting (and cyber-squatting) sites attempt to download malicious software applications including spyware and viruses onto users computers who visit these typo-sites.
However, if you have recently run into trouble with cybersquatting, typosquatting, ‘spoofed’ websites, or other phishing scams, please be sure to look up an Internet Lawyer to help stop this cyber-criminal activity.
For more information on Spoofed Websites and related articles check out any of these;
htmlgoodies.com – Identifying “Spoofed” Websites,
en.wikipedia.org – Website spoofing
en.wikipedia.org – Phishing