Phishers Adopt New Tactics to Reel In Victims

Online fraudsters turn to shorter URLs to make sites look legit
By Laila Weir,  Newser User
Posted Dec 3, 2007 5:52 PM CST
SonicWALL statistics show ongoing growth in the volume of spam, virus and phishing attacks, increased use of PDF spam and continual evolution of new ways to circumvent anti-spam solutions. (PRNewsFoto/SonicWALL,...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Internet phishers are using shorter Web addresses to make their sites seem more legitimate, says IBM's online-security division. The group observed fraudulent URLs dropping from 30-37 characters to an average of 17, reports CNET. "The fact that they felt the need to make this move suggests that they were seeing diminishing returns," said an IBM specialist. 

Still, another security firm warned against presuming sites safe based on URL length. "We need to be careful about security metrics, which might lead users to assume a reliable correlation between the size of an Internet object and its danger," said a rep. He noted that email clients might disguise a malicious URL with a harmless-looking link.