Careful Where You Click

Driving innovation on the web is big news. So big, it tends to overshadow the nefarious sideshows which are fast becoming a daily threat.
According to the Los Angeles Times, scammers rebuffed by better email protections are now turning to soc nets to perpetrate their crimes.

Social networking sites, which let users create detailed profile pages and connect with friends, are becoming the hot new thing for identity thieves, both amateur and professional. As improved spam filters and skeptical consumers make bogus e-mail less successful, scam artists are taking advantage of the atmosphere of trust that exists within these online circles of friends.
Symantec Corp., a tech security firm, recently reported that 91% of the bogus U.S.-based websites used in so-called phishing attacks during the second half of 2007 imitated the log-in pages of two unnamed social networking sites — believed by industry executives to be the two biggest, MySpace and Facebook. Phishing tries to trick recipients into visiting phony websites and disclosing account numbers, passwords and other personal data.
“The bad guys are very adaptable. If something doesn’t work, they come up with something new,” said Kevin Haley, a product executive at Symantec. “Users feel more comfortable surrounded by their friends online — what could be safer?”

I just received an email phishing scam that purported to offer me a tax rebate. While I marked it as spam, I paused to consider how many people would be lured into this particular web of deceit. I get upset just thinking about it.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.