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Citibank Phish Spoofs 2-Factor Authentication


Jeb
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Citibank Phish Spoofs 2-Factor Authentication

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/securityfix..._2factor_1.html

 

Security experts have long touted the need for financial Web sites to move beyond mere passwords and implement so-called "two-factor authentication" -- the second factor being something the user has in their physical possession like an access card -- as the answer to protecting customers from phishing attacks that use phony e-mails and bogus Web sites to trick users into forking over their personal and financial data.

 

These methods work, however, only so long as the bad guys don't fake those as well. Take this latest phish, spotted by the people over at Secure Science Corp. It uses an impressively crafted Web-based e-mail that targets users of Citibank's Citibusiness service, which -- as its name suggests -- caters to businesses. Citibusiness also requires customers who want to log into their accounts online to use a supplied token in addition to their user name and password. The small device generates an additional password that changes every minute or so.

 

The scam e-mail says someone (a nice touch added here -- the IP address of the imaginary suspect) has tried to to log in to your account and that you need to "confirm" your account info. Not a whole lot that's revolutionary there, but when you click on the link, you get a very convincing site that looks identical to the Citibusiness login page, complete with a longish Web address that at first glance appears to end in "Citibank.com," but in fact ends at a Web site in Russia called "Tufel-Club.ru."

 

The site asks for your user name and password, as well as the token-generated key. If you visit the site and enter bogus information to test whether the site is legit -- a tactic used by some security-savvy people -- you might be fooled. That's because this site acts as the "man in the middle" -- it submits data provided by the user to the actual Citibusiness login site. If that data generates an error, so does the phishing site, thus making it look more real.

 

Update, 4:41 p.m. ET: I forgot to mention that while this phishing site was active late last week and during the weekend, it has since been shut down.

 

 

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