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News

Phishing Army Scam Dupes Hackers

Imperva : 26 July, 2010  (Technical Article)
A phishing kit made available on a hacker's forum is designed to use an army of partially successful phishing campaigns to gather large amounts of data centrally
Imperva has uncovered a new, automated, cloud-based phishing kit. The Application Defense Center found this kit on a hacker forum.

This attack highlights an interesting twist—there's no honour among thieves. Two master hackers wrote and then posted a phishing kit into hacker forums. The irony is that anyone using this kit becomes an unknowing member of the master hacker's army. When hackers use this kit and deploy a successful phishing campaign, all the stolen credentials and information goes straight back to the master hacker without the proxy hacker's knowledge. It's very clever. The master hacker never needs to conduct a campaign to see financial gain.

This next gen phishing kit works like this:

1 Two master hackers created a phishing kit that generates phishing sites as a service to other hackers.
2 The master hacker publishes the kit on hacker forums and news groups
3 Low level hackers use the kit to create the phishing sites and create numerous campaigns. The master hacker claims 200K+ downloads.
4 The low level hackers may see some success and may steal a few hundred credentials before their fake sites are shut down.
5 The master hacker that created the kit now makes their back door harvesting all the credentials the proxy hackers managed to get--which translates into thousands of accounts. The master hacker doesn't do a thing and, depending on the country, hasn't technically broken any laws because all they did was write the software.
6 Since new people create new phishing sites every day, with new campaigns the master hacker's numbers just grow and grow and grow.

Unlike previous phishing kits that have been available for years, this new approach lives in the cloud and relies on hackers exploiting other hackers. And with the new cloud-based approach, the infrastructure for this phishing kit never goes away. Why? In traditional Phishing schemes when you take down a server you also take down the collection point, aka, the command and control centre. Also, you may be able to take down many domains set up by the same individual and severely affect the Phishing campaign. In this campaign, taking down the "frontend" server does not impair the campaign because you don't take down the command and control centre since its in the cloud. What's more, each of the "subsidiaries" has their own campaign so taking down a bunch of domains does not affect other campaigns that send data to the command and control centre.
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