Phishers steal money and confidential data from internet
Experts at SophosLabs™, Sophos's global
network of virus, spyware and spam analysis centers, have reminded
computer users of the threat posed by phishers following the
conviction of a man who targeted users of AOL.
A 45-year-old man from Azusa, California, who has been found
guilty under the CAN-SPAM Act of sending phishing emails to AOL
subscribers asking for their confidential information, faces a
maximum sentence of 101 years in a federal prison for his
Jeffrey Goodin used several different compromised Earthlink
email accounts to send thousands of unsolicited emails posing as
AOL's billing department, and directed recipients to bogus payment
websites. Goodin was also convicted on a number of other counts
including wire fraud, possession of unauthorized credit cards,
misuse of the AOL trademark, and attempted witness harassment.
According to the US Attorney's Office in Los Angeles, Goodin
used the stolen credit card information to make unauthorized
purchases. It has been estimated that in total he caused
approximately $1 million in financial damage.
"Phishing and other forms of identity theft are on the rise, and
it's all too easy for internet users to be duped into believing
they are handing over their details to someone they can trust,"
Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "Of course
it's unlikely that Goodin will have to serve over a hundred years
in prison, but a clear message needs to be sent to the many other
identity thieves roaming the internet that they will be caught, and
that their crimes will warrant serious punishment."
Sophos recommends companies protect themselves with a consolidated solution which can defend them from
the threats of spam, spyware and viruses.