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Google's advice on avoiding phishing

Google's Chrome browser, like most browsers these days, has a filter that checks sites you visit against a list of known phishing sites. The warning page that Chrome presents also contains a link to a page of good advice on keeping safe from phishing attacks.

More: http://support.google.com/websearch/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=106318

February 13th, 2012

What do they do when they steal your personal info?

If you've ever bought something from Zappos (like I have), you recently received an email notification from them alerting you to a "data breach," i.e. somebody got customer data from their databases that included names, email addresses, billing and shipping addresses, phone numbers, etc. Why do the bad guys want this info? CIO.com has the story.

More: http://www.cio.com/article/698820/Are_You_at_Risk_What_Cybercriminals_Do_With_Your_Personal_Data_

January 26th, 2012

The OpenDNS Phishing Quiz

If you're a Purportal regular you probably have a pretty good eye for scams -- or think you do! Try this quiz from OpenDNS that shows you screen shots of 14 sites that may look real at first... but it's up to you to say whether they are or not. Looking at the URLs is the way to tell for sure. If those were hidden I might not have done so well!

More: http://www.opendns.com/phishing-quiz/

January 4th, 2012

US Postal Inspection Service: Scheme Alerts

The USPS publishes a handy page of information about active scams relating to the Postal Service. Interesting that all the scams seem to use the internet as their delivery channel... I guess only real old-school scammers use plain paper mail.

More: https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/pressroom/schemealerts.aspx

December 7th, 2011

Some hoaxes are just for fun

"On March 13, 2010 ... the world's largest Twitter hoax. The idea of the hoax was to trick people into thinking Conan O'Brien had joined Internet television company Revision 3. 525 tweets containing the hashtag '#omgconan' were sent in next three hours, making it a Trending Topic on Twitter."

More: http://recordsetter.com/world-record/tweeted-hoax

August 24th, 2011

Scam and repeat

When scammers find something that works, they'll use it over and over and over again. We see this in the Purportal collection. Not only do similar-to-identical messages often come in on the same day, sometimes they arrive months or even years apart. I analyzed the 8000+ messages in the Purportal collection for similarity, and found hundreds of separated-at-birth pairs like this one and, months later, this one.

More: http://purportal.com/spam/

August 23rd, 2011

Clickjacking, Likejacking

Sophos presents a detailed look at a Facebook-based scam in which, needless to say, all is not as it appears. Especially the stuff you click on.

More: http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2011/05/27/baby-born-amazing-effect-no-another-facebook-likejacking-scam/

June 23rd, 2011

New page: "Research"

The Purportal home page has changed. It now is focused on easier access to our major resource: the scammy spam collection. The off-site search boxes are on a new page -- click the "research" link in the navigation bar in the upper right to get there. Let me know what you think!

More: http://purportal.com/research/

April 25th, 2011

Twitter feed is back

Purportal's Twitter feed -- which announces each new piece of scammy spam as it hits the database -- has been down for a while due to a change on Twitter's end. That's all fixed now, so you can get your up-to-the-hour spam fix again.

More: http://twitter.com/#!/purportal

April 23rd, 2011

Announcing smarter search

I've made a long overdue improvement to Purportal's scammy-spam search. You can now type multiple words into the search box and it will find all messages that contain all those words. Simple, right? Wasn't that way until now. A great way to use this: copy a line from a suspicious email you received, and paste it into the search box (don't worry if it doesn't fit). The results page will show the entries in the database that match your search. It will show up to 50, with the newest ones always at the top.

More: http://purportal.com/spam/search

February 28th, 2011