Next-generation phishing attacks online banking

An advanced new phishing attack tricks users into giving away confidential information after they have logged on to an online banking website.

Most computer users are familiar with email phishing, where they are sent emails with links to fraudulent websites. This new "in-session phishing" attack differs because it creates pop-ups while you're in session with your real online banking account, asking for details such as passwords and account numbers.

Attackers compromise the website, inserting code to create the pop-up. Since the user had just recently logged onto the banking website, they may not suspect that the pop-up is fraudulent.

"We have been investigating new phishing methods with a specific focus on what we call 'in-session' attacks, which are more likely to succeed since they occur after a user has logged into a banking or other secure website," said Trusteer chief technology officer Amit Klein in a statement.

Klein said that his company's research found that all the leading browsers, based on their design, are vulnerable to this technique. He added: "We have already notified the vendors and our customers, and now are alerting the public to practice safe web browsing techniques especially when accessing financial applications."

To succeed, the base website must be compromised for the attack to be launched, and the malware must be able to identify which website the user is currently logged in to. Considering the ease with which malware compromised legitimate computers last year, the first step can clearly be easily achieved.