MSN Flooded with Spam and Phishing Attempts

People who use the MSN web messenger can conveniently and easily talk to people millions of miles away, but can just as well become victims of a phishing attempt or receive countless spam messages that lead to malware spreading web pages. That is why Heise Online is advising all MSN users to exercise caution whenever they receive a message that contains a URL link;
this also goes for messages that originate from people you know and trust. The reason for this is a considerable increase in phishing attempts.

The following is a breakdown of what usually happens: first you will receive a message containing a web link and a text that tries to convince you to click on the previously mentioned link. If you do, you will be directed to a certain web page where you will be asked to provide some private info. Keep in mind that all the pictures on the site are linked to search queries and all the data that you provide will be automatically verified.

How is your data verified? By simply using it to log into your own account. Once in, all the people in your list of friends will receive the same spam message that you did (the one inviting you to click on the link). They will most likely think the message comes from you, but in fact you had little to do with it.

This sort of thing can be avoided if you proceed with a bit of caution, not to mention that anyone who bothers to read the "Terms of Use" or "Privacy Policy" will realize it is a phishing site. The terms of use do not hide the fact that the data collected will be used in the future with the purpose of introducing your friends to "new, entertaining pages". And since it publicly announces how it will use the data, it can claim not to be a phishing web page. It even states that it is legitimate and follows the laws and regulations of the territory it is registered with – that would be Panama.

[Source: softpedia]