By Thomas Claburn
October 7, 2009
The FBI on Wednesday announced that it had charged 53 defendants, the
largest number ever charged in a cybercrime case, following a
multinational investigation into a phishing scheme that operated in the
United States and Egypt.
Thirty-three of the 53 defendants named in the indictment have been
arrested, the FBI said, and several others are being sought. The
investigation, dubbed "Operation Phish Phry," began in 2007.
Authorities in Egypt have charged 47 defendants linked to the phishing
Phishing is a form of social engineering that attempts to convince
Internet users, via e-mail or other means, to provide online credentials
via e-mail, Web submission form, or some other method under false
pretenses. Often, phishers create fraudulent Web sites that have been
designed to look like legitimate Web sites as a way to encourage site
visitors to supply sensitive information, such as online banking login
Earlier this week, Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) warned that "several thousand
Windows Live Hotmail customers' credentials were exposed on a
third-party site due to a likely phishing scheme." The online attack
also appears to have affected users of other online e-mail services,
including Google Gmail, and Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) Mail.
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