Phishing annoys me to no end. Don’t people have anything better to do than trying to steal from others or create chaos? According to this (old) article, the US and Korea top the list of countries for number of phishing hosts. And I can only assume that phishing has gotten worse in the last 3 years since this was published. Additionally, these days, Korea is undergoing a big change in the sophistication of phishing scams – particularly “voice phishing” (phone phishing) scams.
I even heard the story of one lady in Korea who received a phone call telling her that her son had been kidnapped, and if she ever wanted to see him alive again she must immediately transfer X amount of money into an unknown bank account. She did so, and hurried home to call the police (I assume). Upon arriving home she found her son watching TV and eating snacks. She cried out, “Are you OK?” to which he replied, “Of course, I just arrived home from school on the bus.” I don’t know all the facts about this story, or if it is 100% true or not, but the fact remains that it is 100% believable, because people do have a tendency to get fearful, emotional, and in a “fight-or-flight” mode when they think that something has gone terribly wrong.
So, in order to help other people not get into this same kind of fearful, emotional mode when surfing the Internet and a “Virus Alert!” pops up on their screen, I will break down the phishing scam that I encountered online today while looking for 2010 Olympics Coverage. With a little understanding of what to look for, more people would be able to avoid accidentally downloading virus programs that actually claim to be “virus cleaners.”
And for those who are convinced that viruses just “pop up” when they’re not looking, check out this post.