This Phish Isn’t Biting

As I checked my email inbox this afternoon, I discovered an email which was supposedly sent from CNN. The subject line was CNN Alerts: My Custom Alert. The problem is, I’ve never configured custom alerts on the CNN webpage. However, The email looks very legitimate and I almost clicked on the links until I noticed that the FULL STORY link points to a site other than CNN. Check out this screenshot.

I’ve never received a phishing email which has appeared to originate from CNN. I’ve received similar looking emails from Paypal, Ebay, Chase bank, Bank Of America, etc. They almost fooled me on this attempt.

The funny thing is, when I typed in the URL of the full story link into Google, I checked out the search result for the McAfee Site Advisor and according to them, the site is just fine, no significant problems found.

Here is what I find disturbing. How many people do you think may have been as careful as I was with this link and checked out the site advisor page only to see that there was not any problems associated with the site thus, they went ahead and clicked on the link? Thankfully, the comments section of the McAfee post filled me in on the details:

“…didn’t find any significant problems.” Better look harder!!!
CNN.com Daily Top 10 spam has disguised links to <http://www.blackhawkk9.com/cnntop.html&gt; concerning which:
DANGEROUS: LinkScanner Online has found [Trojan Fake Codec]
Yeah, as well as clicking the fake link of your choice they want you to download a trojan loader, submit your machine to a botnet and further their aims to rule the observable universe (nice work if you can get it).

Name: blackhawkk9.com
Address: 68.178.211.52
(Owned by GoDaddy.com Inc)
Nameservers:
ns17.domaincontrol.com 64.202.165
ns18.domaincontrol.com 208.109.255.9

Registrar: GoDaddy.com Inc

Also, I sent word about this email on Twitter and many other people have reported receiving the same thing.

Word of warning, do not click on the links within this email. Immediately send it to the trash bin or your spam folder or simply delete it. Although this email smelled phishy, this phish almost took the bait.

This Phish Isn't Biting

As I checked my email inbox this afternoon, I discovered an email which was supposedly sent from CNN. The subject line was CNN Alerts: My Custom Alert. The problem is, I’ve never configured custom alerts on the CNN webpage. However, The email looks very legitimate and I almost clicked on the links until I noticed that the FULL STORY link points to a site other than CNN. Check out this screenshot.

I’ve never received a phishing email which has appeared to originate from CNN. I’ve received similar looking emails from Paypal, Ebay, Chase bank, Bank Of America, etc. They almost fooled me on this attempt.

The funny thing is, when I typed in the URL of the full story link into Google, I checked out the search result for the McAfee Site Advisor and according to them, the site is just fine, no significant problems found.

Here is what I find disturbing. How many people do you think may have been as careful as I was with this link and checked out the site advisor page only to see that there was not any problems associated with the site thus, they went ahead and clicked on the link? Thankfully, the comments section of the McAfee post filled me in on the details:

“…didn’t find any significant problems.” Better look harder!!!
CNN.com Daily Top 10 spam has disguised links to <http://www.blackhawkk9.com/cnntop.html&gt; concerning which:
DANGEROUS: LinkScanner Online has found [Trojan Fake Codec]
Yeah, as well as clicking the fake link of your choice they want you to download a trojan loader, submit your machine to a botnet and further their aims to rule the observable universe (nice work if you can get it).

Name: blackhawkk9.com
Address: 68.178.211.52
(Owned by GoDaddy.com Inc)
Nameservers:
ns17.domaincontrol.com 64.202.165
ns18.domaincontrol.com 208.109.255.9

Registrar: GoDaddy.com Inc

Also, I sent word about this email on Twitter and many other people have reported receiving the same thing.

Word of warning, do not click on the links within this email. Immediately send it to the trash bin or your spam folder or simply delete it. Although this email smelled phishy, this phish almost took the bait.

Email – Most Desired Service

A survey conducted by online usability and accessibility expert Webcredible has identified email as the most desired service for mobile phone users. When asked ‘Which service would you use on your mobile/cell phone if speed & quality weren’t an issue?’, 33% stated that email would be their number one priority. Social networking followed closely behind with 25% of the votes.

20% of those surveyed also highlighted a preference for using their phone to access local information about their surroundings and a remaining 13% said that they would use their phone to obtain travel and route planning information.

Trenton Moss, director, Webcredible commented, “The ease of use with regard to accessing email via Blackberry and PDA devices has certainly caused a ground swell in consumers who want the ability to email on the move through a basic mobile device. What I find interesting though, is the speed with which social networking is becoming a must have function on mobile.”

“Over the next six months I see a continued increase in the number of people demanding social networking functions through their mobile against those who consider email to be the most important. One of the driving factors in enabling this will be the usability of the site and the skill with which site developers transfer from PC format to mobile format. Facebook has already developed a very accessible and usable mobile version of their site, ensuring its members get their daily Facebook fix.”

Interestingly, just 9% said that they would like to be able to shop online.

Moss continues, “I think this is an unsurprising statistic. There are two main reasons why mobile users are skeptical about shopping via mobile. Firstly, usability is a massive function and one which is difficult to overcome if shoppers want to view a good quality image of what they are buying. Secondly, there is still great uncertainty among the public about data security of shopping through mobile phones.”

Webcredible surveyed 1010 mobile phone users and achieved the following results:-

* Social networks – 254 votes (25%)
* Travel information/planning – 135 votes (13%)
* Email – 335 votes (33%)
* Local information/whats around you – 199 votes (20%)
* Online shopping – 87 votes (9%)