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Phigilantes attack phishers!


By Gearhead, NetworkWorld.com, 05/19/05

According to an item on Netcraft's blog phishing has created a subculture of vigilantes who are going after phishing sites and disabling them.

The only thing missing is a catchy name for these good guys with gray hats -- might we suggest "phigilantes"?

Anyway, the Netcraft story is fascinating. It seems that the various phigilante groups like to put their own home page on the disabled phishing sites and even include useful links -- one group named "The Lad Wrecking Crew" includes links for information on the 419 Scam as well as for Scotland Yard and the US Secret Service on the sites they capture. If you search Google for "The Lad Wrecking Crew" you'll find their latest conquests.

As far as we know there's no official count of how many phigilante groups are out there and how many phishing sites they've taken down but it appears that we're talking in the hundreds.

Of course the legality of the phigilantes' actions is doubtful. As Netcraft notes:

"While phishing is undoubtedly an illegal activity, the legality of defacing phishing sites is also quite questionable, but in cases observed by Netcraft so far it is reasonable to assume that only the fraudsters themselves have been disadvantaged."

One thing is certain, the phigilantes have done more to fix the phishing problem than all of the governments of the world combined.

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