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How to Avoid the Loyphish Phishing Scam

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Loyphish Phishing Scam

Loyphish Phishing Scam

Photo © Kris Scheetz
The Loyphish malware, which is an example of a phishing scam, resides in malicious websites and attempts to trick you into entering your sensitive information through a web form. A phishing attack is often presented in a form of an email. The email will entice you to click on a link which will direct you to a malicious website. However, the attacker’s goal is to trick you in believing you’re visiting a legitimate site and will attempt to encourage you to submit your personal information. The website is capable of capturing login IDs, passwords, credit card information, social security numbers, and bank account numbers.

Loyphish Symptoms

The malware uses keystrokes and loggers to monitor your surfing actions. The keylogger records your keystrokes and sends the information to the remote attacker. Furthermore, your Internet browser can become compromised as the malware can redirect your searches to unknown sites. Your Internet browser settings can be modified without your consent, such as changing your default home page. You may get several pop up messages when you launch your browser, or the malware may block your Internet access altogether.

In addition to modifying browser settings, Loyphish can interfere with security components you have installed on your PC. Your antivirus application may not work properly, and your firewall can become disabled. Even running other applications, such as Microsoft Word or Excel, can become an issue. This malware can prevent you from running any application installed on your PC, and can also force your PC to shutdown unexpectedly.

How You Can Become a Victim

The most common Loyphish attack comes in a form of a spoofed website that looks almost identical to a banking site that you commonly interact with. The attack may be initiated with an email requesting you to update your banking information by clicking on a link and completing a web form. The link will direct you to the fake website and will instruct you to submit your updated information. The website may contain images, layouts, content, and logos that the attacker has copied from an actual financial institution’s website in an attempt to convince you that you are on an official website. By entering and submitting your online banking information through the web form, you are actually sending your information to a remote attacker. Consequently, the attacker can obtain your sensitive information such as your account’s PIN (personal identification number), user name, and password.

How to Protect Yourself

The best way you can protect yourself from the Loyphish malware is to exercise caution with links to websites from unknown sources. It is highly unlikely that your financial institution will request for you to update your banking information by clicking on a link from an email. No matter how convincing the message may read, if you receive an email that contains these characteristics, delete it immediately. If you are concerned about your bank account, rather than clicking on the link within the email, launch your Internet browser and visit your financial institution’s website by entering the URL. In doing so, you’re certain that you’re on their official website and you can confirm that there are no issues with your account. However, if you’re still apprehensive about logging on the official site, I recommend that you contact your financial institution and explain your situation.

In addition to exercising caution when opening emails, you should have an antivirus application installed on your machine with updated virus definition files. You should always keep your operating system current with the latest patches, and enable a firewall on your computer. By following these simple steps, you can help prevent scammers from stealing your personal information.

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