Phishing techniques and technology revealed

Serious software used to analyse phished data, and a phisher talks.

Some insights into the workings of phishing scams were revealed this week, as a sophisticated tool designed to process data gathered by LdPinch trojans was discovered and analysed, and a security watcher probed the mind of a young phisher in an online conversation, published on his blog.

The LdPinch trojan gathers large amounts of information from infected systems, the exact type of data reaped depending on the variant. Researchers at F-Secure followed the trail of information issuing from an infected machine to its drop site, where it is stored in encrypted files which include details of the date of capture and the originating system. A highly professional graphical tool is then used to sort and parse the data for use in fraud and identity theft.

F-Secure released information on the tool, discovered in collaboration with Sunbelt Software and thought to have been developed by Russians, on its malware blog here. Screenshots of the tool in use are included.

Panda Labs also have some interesting analysis, and screenshots, of a front-end GUI tool, in this case for managing and controlling spam-sending botnets; a blog entry on their discoveries is here.

Elsewhere, security company head and Dark Reading blogger Robert Hansen managed to get in touch with a serial phisher, and found some fascinating background on how phishers operate. The 18-year-old he contacted, who goes by the pseudonym 'lithium' and has been phishing since the age of 14, focuses on social-networking sites, uses bespoke software made by freelance developers, gathers around 30,000 gullible victims per day to his spoofed domains, and claims to make $3,00-$4,000 in a single day's phishing - which he only indulges in 3-4 days per week.

A detailed overview of the information discovered can be found at Dark Reading, here, and the full conversation is here.

Posted on 11 May 2007 by Virus Bulletin

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