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Spear-Phishing on the rise by Sharon Terdeman, PC Magazine, Pg. 68, October 18, 2005 issue plus a note from the IRS February 8, 2006...


As if there weren't enough threats to have to watch out for, a variation on phishing that targets employees at specific organizations merits notice.

Known as spear-phishing, this social-engineering technique spoofs the e-mail address of the sender so that the message seems to come from the same domain as the target. The message appears to be sent by a known, trusted person from perhaps the IT or human-resources department -- or even by a top executive of the company -- and it tries to pry passwords or other sensitive information out of employees.

According to security company Message-Labs' June report, such techniques are on the rise and are also being used to deliver malware.

As with more familiar phishing scams, spear-phishing e-mails may also include links to bogus web sites.

    [Italics are ours]: This is another form of identity theft to be aware of...

Addendum 2-8-06:
The IRS has urged taxpayers not to fall for phishing, a technique that identity thieves use to get personal financial data from unsuspecting victims. The thieves may pose as an IRS official and send an e-mail asking for personal financial information. The IRS does NOT send taxpayers e-mails.

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