By Robert McMillan
IDG News Service
A late October phishing campaign may have given online criminals the
information they needed to seize control of payment processor
CheckFree's Internet domain this week.
On the morning of Dec. 2, attackers logged into CheckFree's domain name
registration account at Network Solutions and redirected Internet
traffic away from CheckFree's systems to a rogue server located in the
Ukraine. During an incident that lasted just under five hours, CheckFree
customers trying to connect with the company's Web site were attacked
with code that exploited a bug in Adobe's Reader software.
But security experts said Thursday that the groundwork for this attack
may have been laid in late October, when Network Solutions customers
were targeted in a phishing attack.
In that attack, Network Solutions customers were sent an e-mail crafted
to look like it came from the domain name registrar, asking them to
enter their account information on a Web site controlled by the
criminals. When these attacks are directed at a small but carefully
targeted group of victims, they're called "spear phishing" in the
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