June 6, 2011

Spear phishers attack Hotmail and Yahoo Mail

by Jan Harris

Hotmail and Yahoo Mail have become the latest spear phishing targets, just days after Google’s Gmail service suffered similar attacks.

Although the attacks are not believed to be connected, Trend Micro has noted similarities in the way the attacks were carried out.

The attacks used malicious file attachments and also tried to exploit cross-site scripting (CSS) flaws in the webmail services themselves to steal user credentials.

The motive for the attacks also seemed to be similar.

In a blog post regarding the latest attacks, Trend Micro’s senior threat researcher, Nart Villeneuve, said: “The objective of the attackers appears to be to gain access to the target’s Webmail accounts in order to monitor his/her communications and, possibly, to stage future attacks.”

In the Gmail attacks, hackers were attempting to hi-jack Gmail accounts in order to send and receive their own email messages.

Trend Micro recommends that email users watch out for spelling or grammar errors which might be a clue that they are not from a genuine source.

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