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Yet another phishing attack – Tumblr users being targeted

Stefan Tanase
Kaspersky Lab Expert
Posted June 28, 17:02  GMT
Tags: Social Networks, Social Engineering, Passwords

What a coincidence! The same day I start tumblring, Tumblr users get hit by what seems to be one of the most publicized phishing attacks the social network has seen so far.

Yet another phishing attack has resulted in thousands of accounts being compromised. Nothing new here. Phishing is a game of numbers – so even though many users are aware of this threat, there still are some of them who fall victim to this old social engineering trick. Therefore, even with just a low efficiency rate in terms of percentage, thousands of accounts can still be easily compromised by cybercriminals if the phishing page is seen by enough people.

So – for those of you out there who still don’t know the basics of avoiding becoming a victim of phishing attack, here are a couple of tips:

  • Make sure you log-in directly on the website you actually want to visit, by manually typing the address in your browser, instead of clicking suspicious links received by email
  • Always make sure you’re browsing through a secure connection – HTTPS, not HTTP – and remember to check the SSL certificate of the host you’re logging in to (this will help you if your hosts file has been modified, or in the case of a DNS cache poisoning attack or your router being compromised)
  • Phishing emails can look very much alike genuine ones – but you can always check the email headers to confirm the source, as email from addresses can be easily spoofed
  • Be wary of sessions which randomly log you out only to request you log-in again. Attackers often make use of web application vulnerabilities or social engineering to redirect users through fake log-in gateways
  • Use a modern browser, one that has an anti-phishing module enabled, and keep all your software updated
  • Make sure you use a fully featured Internet Security suite to also stay protected against malware that can, for example, dynamically inject malicious HTML code into your browser session
  • Not specific to the Tumblr phishing attack itself, but good advice anyway: always remember that your bank will never ask for your credit card details, and generally be suspicious about online forms requesting too much sensitive information



2011 Jul 07, 14:29

Reporting Phishing

A very good article, all too often do we see the public fall prey to this very primitive social engineering technique. I think it is excellent that you are reinforcing common sense techniques to help people remain safe on the internet.
I think a final addition would be to report suspicious websites.

The commonly practiced technique of the modern age is to use free domains and free web hosts. Since it is rare Cyber Criminals want to create a paper trail by purchasing a domain and hosting.

For example:
If a user receives a suspicious email that links to such a site, if the user is proactive, they have the ability to report the website to the domain register or web host.
In the example above, simply visiting the original domain 'www.cz.cc' we can use the 'register abuse form' to have the website reviewed by staff, revoked of its rights and have the website terminated.
Or alternatively send the URL address to their security provider for review and have it added to the untrusted database.

If it became common practice to report such websites, we can help minimize each websites exposure to less wary internet users. Thus saving their personal information from being stolen, or falling victim to identity theft.

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