March 15, 2005
Dear CNET members,
By now, hopefully everyone is aware of phishing scams--cleverly designed e-mail and Web sites used to gain access to your financial logins and passwords. We've pretty much reached the level of sniffing those out from a mile away. But this fairly new heinous tactic, called pharming, is absolutely frightening. For example, you type in citibank.com in to your Internet browser. The address bar displays as you would expect--citibank.com and you proceed to log on to access your bank account information. No sweat, eh? Well, little did you know that behind the scenes, citibank.com's DNS (domain name servers) just got hijacked--displaying the completely legitimate URL address that you are accustomed to, but directing you to a spoofed site that looks and feels just like your financial institution, so you have absolutely no idea you willingly gave up your personal account info to the hijackers. Is this scary or what? Are you concerned? Are there any preventative measures out there that we can take, or are we just out of luck on this one? Find out more about this all-too-important topic in senior editor Robert Vamosi's article, "Alarm over pharming attacks: identity theft made even easier." And if you have concerns to share or preventative tips to offer, or if you've even been scammed before by this tactic, share your experience with us so that we can all learn how to tackle this issue together. Be safe and be aware out there! TalkBack here.
This week's hot topic:
In response to the latest Security Watch column, several of you submitted great suggestions on how steer clear from pharming schemes.
Since several of you asked for it, CNET member libove submitted a great "how-to" on making the most of SSL certificates, including a step-by-step guide to enabling certificates in IE 6.0.
Read libove's post in CNET TalkBack
Stick by the IP
Though other members warn it's not 100 per cent foolproof, CNET member johnnybluenote suggests we go to our favorite Web sites by way of their specific IP address, rather than their Web name. He also provides instructions on how to find the IP for your favorite Web sites.
Read johnnybluenote's post in CNET TalkBack
Make stricter laws
CNET member iogt007 brings up a great point: the laws (and related punishments for breaking them) should be bigger for anyone found guilty of an Internet crime of this magnitude.
Read iogt007's post in CNET TalkBack
Have a tip on how to protect against pharming? Read "Alarm over pharming attacks" and speak up in the TalkBack section.
CNET security resources:
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