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November 24th, 2008 Users Database Breached, Personalized Phishing Hits Skype Users

Online thieves managed to penetrate the defenses of Pamela Systems by exploiting a security hole in an unnamed application the website uses, according to Dick H. Schiferli, Pamela’s founder and CEO. Pamela is a piece of software that manages Skype users online phone accounts. The users who use this software should be on the lookout for customized phishing attacks due to hacked user databases containing names and email addresses.

The attack, which took place last week, has already led to one phishing campaign that calls recipients by their real names and then tries to trick them into turning over personal information. That added personal touch could throw some users off guard because most phishing emails address their marks by generic terms such as “Dear PayPal User.”

It is unclear how many of the site’s users had their information stolen, or how many users have registered with his site. Pamela boasts 4.5 million downloads, although the number of registered users is probably much smaller. Schiferli said his team was still in the process of contacting customers whose information was stolen. “This is our first experience with something like this,” he said. “We’re taking this very seriously. We contacted PayPal last week.” So far, they’ve yet to get a response.

The breach could prove valuable because ostensibly everyone in the user database uses Skype. That allows fraudsters with important leads and information to tailor scams.

Credit: The Register

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