The Full Tilt/CNN Phishing Scam, Resolved
Last night, Levitt posted this discovery of what seemed like a phishing expedition (and revealed to the world his late-night poker habits). As of 9:10 a.m. today, the site in question (http://www.fulltilt-cnn.com) was down. (Back when we wrote a column about Steven Peisner and identity theft, a fake Bank of America site was also summarily disabled, showing that if nothing else, hackers are pretty quick to note legitimate queries about their illegitimate sites.)
In his post last night, Levitt asked readers for input, and you responded mightily. So did Steven Peisner:
Your “Midnight Freak Readers” are to be given applause for their quick responses.
Right on with the “View Source” and the Lame Browsers.
Checking the Domain Registration was another good thing — this domain was just created on 7.21.2007 and purchased on 7.23.2007 via Melbourne IT, LTD (that will be a Chargeback) — as well as yesterday’s next unknown identity theft victim, most likely from the United States.
The hackers also play against something that exists in everyone – I refer to it as “the point of vulnerability,” and it literally takes one second. It is a distraction from a person’s concentration.
[For instance], a mother with a child in hand clicks on a “Phish email.” She turns around for a second, and forgets that she clicked on it, and then thinks that she is at Bank of America and fills everything out.
Running a Virus Scan is a good idea.
I clicked on the video [see below] – it appears to be a downloadable file which undoubtedly will install some kind of virus or Trojan on your computer. My advice: Don’t click it!
Lastly, [this type of scam] is a great idea if you are a hacker or thief living outside the U.S., in a place where the U.S. Authorities and legal system have their hands tied; but if you are living on U.S. soil and doing this, you can bet that you are going to be spending some time behind bars.
Here’s another interesting response, an e-mail from eMando Software president Johan Stokking, who wrote to us after reader Dan Moniz informed him that his comapany’s switchboard was being appropriated by the scammers:
Thank you very much for the information and the investigation.
Unfortunately, the office is closed precisely this week and I am currently on vacation so there is not much I can do now.
I tried to register on the blog to provide some technical information, but the registration failed from here (camping site in Italy).
Could one of you please post on the Freakonomics blog that my company will investigate this next week and report all possible information to the police. You may copy this entire e-mail as well.
We had a similar issue about a year ago which resulted in several arrests. As a result, we changed the design to avoid any future abuse of our technology, but it seems that the old version is still around.
Remote control software allows you to access a computer remotely and do whatever you want. However, we, as the service provider, can never ensure that an installation is legitimate.
Thanks again for the information.