Internet safety: Phishing - ''
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Posted 3/12/08
Well, what's phishing? It's a term to describe malicious sites that attempt to leech your passwords or important information by getting you to voluntarily give it to them, under deceptive situations.

Recently, I've received several emails stating 'Find out who blocked you in MSN' and went to visit the given site. Interestingly, the way the site is written smells of fish.

Specifically, this was written:

You're Blocked, gives you the chance to find out who has blocked or deleted you. You just have to write your MSN account and your password, the system will process the information and within a few seconds you'll get the list of users who are lying to you.

I'm no big thinker, but moderating has its uses. The first part in green is the main crutch of what the site wants you to do, without further explanation of how this is to be done. 'write in' is a stupid choice of words. 'Key', 'Enter' would have looked more convincing.

In blue,

'the system will process the information' <-- is a common excuse and vague explanation to explain away 'complicated processes that an average user cannot possibly comprehend' what system? what information? what kind of process?

within a few seconds you'll get the list of users who are lying to you. if this does not look like it's written by an amateur, then I don't know what else is. A corporate website always uses objective and passive style writing. To use 'lying' is emotive and impulsive. Also, you can't LIE to another person if you've not giving wrong information to another, and is later found to be otherwise.

A lie is telling someone one thing, when actually it is something else. Blocking someone is simply an action. Unless you personally tell the other party you're offline when in actuality you've blocked that person, it's not the definition of a lie.

Lastly, as a disclaimer, the site claims to have no association or affliation whatsoever with MSN. Because this is illegal activity, this is to fend off users who try to contact MSN for details. Interestingly, this ALSO discredits their credibility or their 'system'.

Verdict: Amateur phish attempt.

Needless to say, please exercise your brains to consider information when it's given to you. Even when you fail to do that, at least CR does inform you too. DON'T give out your information over the net.

Oh. What was the word that finally nailed it?

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