Phishing uses MobileMe debacle to gain credit cards

Computerworld reporter Gregg Keizer wrote today about a phishing attack which caught dazed and confused MobileMe users off balance during the disastrous .MAC to MobileMe cut over. Apparently the phishing dudes increased their take rate by timing the attack during the service transition. Apple's botched transition likely added fuel to an already burning fire. Is this the first time this has happened? Probably not (I'm only speculating) and we're likely to see this happen more frequently in the future.

Phishing attacks rely on unsuspecting end users who may not know any better or are too trusting of what looks like legitimate e-mails and offers. If timing phishing attacks with other online events and activities increases the take rate, vendors need to communicate to their customers ahead of time that they will not be requesting users update their profiles, or hand over credit card and other personal information. I suspect that scammers will rush to the scene of any digital accident moments after problems start, so they can set their lines to hook even more innocent users.

It's probably a fact of life that we as consumers, and vendors providing the services, will have to live with. Vendors need to overcommunicate to customers that we won't ask them for their personal or financial information. USA Today reports Byron Acohido and Jon Swartz write about this problem in their new book Zero Day Attack. Fortunately for MobileMe users there were only around 200 or so victims of this scam, but that's 200 too many.

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