Real World Phishing Techniques

Very often Internet users become aware of phishing attacks by receiving spoof emails themselves or viewing a recorded copy of a malicious web site below the headlines on a technology news site, long after the server temporarily hosting the phishing content has been taken down. These events tend to be viewed in isolation and purely from the perspective of the victim. One of the major benefits that honeynet technology can offer is the capability to capture all activity from the perspective of the attacker, allowing security analysts to build up a more complete understanding of the entire life span of a phishing attack. Members of the Honeynet Project's Research Alliance are fortunate enough to have captured a number of rich data sets that can help to illustrate the stages of such an attack, from initial compromise and phishing web site set up through to mass emailing and victim data capture. Three different examples of typical real world phishing techniques are presented and reviewed below.