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Hackers News

Keeping Knowledge Free

New VoIP Phishing Scams

Cloudmark, an anti-spam company, put the word out about a new type of email phishing scam targeting banking customers. These fake emails don't provide a URL for you to click--you're much too smart for that. Rather, they provide a phone number, which calls into a voice mail system that asks for your account number. According to Cloudmark, what's new here is the criminal use of VoIP and PBX (private branch exchange) software to set up a voice-mail system that sounds like your bank. The process is cheap and easy, thanks to VoIP and open-source PBX software such as Asterisk. The same low-cost setup that's enabling small businesses to sound professional is enabling small-time scam artists to do the same. "The convergence of the Internet with the phone system allows someone with VoIP to do what the big boys used to do," says Adam J. O'Donnell, Ph.D., senior research scientist at Cloudmark. Cloudmark's enterprise spam filters found two such phishing scams, one targeting a small bank in a large U.S. city. Cloudmark says more than 1000 such messages were received over a three-day period. The scam artists set up a toll-free number and a number with area code.

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