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Phishing Spam (Bank Fraud etc)


This attempts to answer:


German text in Brown is unchanged (except name) as it was received, aimed at a real German bank. English text in Green has been added.


Dear customer
Sehr geehrter Kunde, sehr geehrte Kundin,

The technical department of the Bank is doing a planned upgrade to improve customer service & account management.
Die Technische Abteilung der Bank führt zur Zeit eine vorgesehene Software-Aktualisierung durch, um die Qualität des Online-Banking-Service zu verbessern.

Please click link to confirm your customer data.
Wir möchten Sie bitten, unten auf den Link zu klicken und Ihre Kundendaten zu bestätigen.

Please excuse any inconvenience, Thanks for your assistance.
Wir bitten Sie, eventuelle Unannehmlichkeiten zu entschuldigen, und danken Ihnen für Ihre Mithilfe.

© 2007. All right reserved. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.



Criminals copy a bank's web, modify it to steal & send on passwords, crack some internet server or private PC. (as a bank robber steals an innocent get away car), uploads the new fraudulent web pages, & spams you.

How to avoid it.

  • Do not click on bank type mails.
  • Type web addresses yourself, or mouse copy a known good address from your own local notes.
  • Copy address of bank from your file to browser with mouse. (But consider before you copy across account passwords by bluetooth (radio) mouse ? Do you trust encryption if any ? A cable mouse is more secure).
  • Enable the little window at top of browser to show you where you really are. Try under eg Edit -> Preferences -> URL display (URL = Uniform Resource Locator = posh name for web address).
  • Look extremely carefully at URLs in phishing mails: They name your bank, but take you somewhere else, typically the source looks like this:

    <A href=""></a>

    Always look to the first single slash, then read backward, to see where you are being taken, eg to a fake page of within
  • The difference in URL may be as little as one letter, & not as obvious as the in the example above ),
  • To examine a potential phishing email:
    • On Unix, any old programmers editor will do, eg ed or vi, etc.
    • On Microsoft DOS or CP/M: (Any ancient editor such as Edlin would have done,but as XP etc perhaps won't have equivalents , save suspect mail enclosure to disc, & view it with a web page editor that can show where clciks go to, ie target URLs. li>
    • Or View the suspect local file with a web browser. Type into browser URL window the local file address, eg: file:///home/my_user_name/mail/suspect.txt If browse is Firefox, Click: View -> Page Source.
  • Suggestion: Practice analysing a sanitised one before you receive the next real one. To do that:
    • Save this page locally.
    • Remove top above first XXXX line,
    • Remove tail below second XXXX line.
    • Mail it to yourself as HTML
    • Note copying it from this web page with a mouse will Not work.

Further reading

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