China warns of Skype phishing, shuts offending domain

The rare warning comes as authorities and companies work to stamp out phishing

China's cyberthreat response group Monday warned local Skype users about phishing scams being carried out through the chat program, in a show of ongoing efforts to counter phishing in the country.

Many Skype users in China have recently received fake messages saying they had won a prize and directing them to a look-alike version of the program's Web site to claim it, said the National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team (CERT) on its Web site. The group's rare notice about a specific phishing scam warned users not to lose sensitive data to such sites and said the group had worked with a domain registrar to close an offending domain.

Phishing has been a major problem in China but the most targeted local sites have included banks and an online auction site that is similar to eBay, said Miao Deyu, a spokesman for Chinese antivirus software maker Antiy Labs. China's huge number of Internet users gives criminals a much larger pool of people to target and more catches even if their success rate is low, said Miao.

China officially had 338 million Internet users at the end of June.

Skype is still an attractive target for phishing since many user accounts have payment information linked to them, said Miao. The Chinese version of the program, called Tom-Skype since it is offered through local Internet company Tom Online, reportedly had 69 million registered users in mid-2008. That version of the program filters some politically sensitive words sent during chats and last year was found by researchers to be recording messages, likely due to government demands.

Chinese companies and government organizations last year formed an antiphishing group that may have helped reduce phishing incidents. The group has identified and helped close at least 8,000 phishing sites, according to local media and Miao. In the past few months phishing incidents in China have stayed flat after an earlier spike, according to Antiy.

China's CERT received just 1,200 reports of phishing last yea, and it "resolved" just 320 of them, it said in an earlier report. Among the incidents reported to the group, Yahoo, eBay and banks like Wachovia and HSBC were the most commonly mimicked Web sites, a sign that many phishing sites hosted in China target Internet users abroad.

Western experts have said that China-hosted domains known to be malicious often remain up and have called for quicker action by local registrars and authorities to shut them down.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags skypevoipVoIP security

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Owen Fletcher

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?