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Phishers Drop Hooks Into Smaller Streams

The experience prompted Sovereign to begin pilot projects with Boise, Idaho-based MarkMonitor and Beaverton, Ore.-based Corillian Corp., two companies marketing anti-phishing technologies to banks and e-commerce sites, said Marianne Doran-Collins, senior vice president and director of online banking at the Reading, Pa.-based bank.

"We're not interested in just waiting around for the next [attack]," Doran-Collins said.

_____Recent Phishing Articles_____
Technology Fueling Wave of Phishing Scams (washingtonpost.com, Jan 18, 2005)
It's Been a Day-to-Day Battle With Intruders (The Washington Post, Dec 26, 2004)
Companies Forced to Fight Phishing (washingtonpost.com, Nov 19, 2004)
How to Fend off Phishing (washingtonpost.com, Nov 18, 2004)
Phishing Feeds Internet Black Markets (washingtonpost.com, Nov 18, 2004)
_____Cyber-Security_____
George Mason Officials Investigate Hacking Incident (The Washington Post, Jan 13, 2005)
Microsoft Releases 3 New Windows Security Patches (The Washington Post, Jan 12, 2005)
Another Computer Security Official Quits (The Washington Post, Jan 12, 2005)
More Security News

Other companies offering technologies to detect and disable phishing sites also have seen a recent increase in the level of interest from smaller financial institutions. Madison, Wis.-based NameProtect had roughly 10 times as many inquiries in the last three months of 2004 from small- to mid-sized banks than it had the previous quarter, said Kevin Omiliak, NameProtect's vice president of sales and marketing.

PNC Bank, which does business in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Ohio and Kentucky, was first targeted by phishers late in August. The scam site stayed up for more than 24 hours, though no PNC customers have reported losses from the attack, spokesman Brian Goerke said.

A few days after the attack the bank contracted with two providers of anti-phishing products, though Goerke declined to name those companies. PNC was struck again in September, and the new technologies helped the company shutter the phishing site in less than two hours, he said.

"We put things in place right away so that if it happened again we'd be ready," Goerke said.

Banks and Internet service providers remain key targets, but there are signs that phishers will continue to break into new areas of business in 2005, said Mark Griffiths, vice president for VeriSign Inc., an Internet security firm based in Mountain View, Calif.

Griffiths said phishers have started mimicking power companies and other utilities, trying to trick people into registering at fake utility Web sites to pay their bills automatically online.

"These guys are definitely only going to get more bold and creative," Griffiths said.


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