News
Commentary
1/20/2004
06:19 PM
Commentary
Commentary
Commentary
50%
50%

Tips On Spotting A Spoofed Link

"When you connect to a secure Web site, you can examine the SSL Certificate for the site, usually by clicking on the 'lock' symbol on many browsers," he says. "People should learn how to do this and make it a habit of doing so when they connect to secure sites, so they recognize when something changes.

"Unfortunately, like other components of scams, the certificate might have a similar-sounding name. You think you've got (e.g., PayPal.com), but you got paypal-business.com. The certificate (we assume for argument) really does belong to an entity called paypal-business.com, but is paypal-business.com the same as PayPal? You don't know.

"The best thing to do is start from (e.g.) paypal.com from your account statement, etc., and examine the site certificate. Then you have a good chance that it's not spoofed. But it is only a chance, as it could still be spoofed in various ways. There are lots of scenarios for this, but here's one: Your computer could be infected with a virus which installed a Web proxy, then the attacker sends you a message to go update your stuff. You type in paypal.com, but your infected browser goes to the fake site instead. When you try to view the certificate, your infected browser shows you the real certificate information. You can't easily know this didn't happen. But examining the certificate is a good practice.

"So there are things to do that will make the con artist's job harder, but you can't make it impossible to be conned. Hopefully, the police will be able to track down the con artists, and by doing so, will deter others. "There's no perfect system, so we can't give any assurances that there is a perfect system. Nor is the case that if you do or don't do certain things, you can't be victimized. The best we can do is tell people to use their common sense, so they aren't victimized by the lowest grade of con artists."

Amen!

Return to: Which Kills E-Commerce Faster, The Cure Or The Disease?

Return to the sidebars:
Phishing Vulnerabilities In Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Plus A New Server-Access Ploy and
Phishing By Brand Name: Tips On How To Check For Fraud

Previous
2 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest, Dec. 9, 2014
Apps will make or break the tablet as a work device, but don't shortchange critical factors related to hardware, security, peripherals, and integration.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 7, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program!
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.