Monday, 16 March 2009

Am I, in fact, Nuts?

phish I have just telephoned a Belgian company, DWB Motors, to explain that part of their web site is, as of right now, being used for naughty phishing.

  • DWB Motors does not speak any English.
  • Vogel von Neustadt's French is really quite amazingly bad, especially under pressure.
  • An example of "Pressure" in this case might be something like, ah, maybe ringing up a foreign company out of the blue and trying to explain to them that a corner of their site's been hijacked. Especially if your French contains NO technical vocabulary beyond site web.

This was an interesting conversation. They were very polite and pleasant but I have no idea at all as to whether we were actually communicating or not. For all I know, after we said a pleasant goodbye to each other, they may now have the lasting impression that I was trying urgently to enquire about the price of a new fanbelt for my Massey Ferguson MF 5460 tractor (4.4 litres, intercooled, you know the one?)

I hope I was some help but it's difficult to know whether this was a good use of bits of my lunchtime, telephone money, limited brain power or anything much else. And the site is still up, yes, and presumably still hoping to collect some juicy bank details from the naive reader of email. Hmmm.

I think I should probably not make a habit of this.

10 comments:

Strawberryyog said...

Update: in the end, I emailed the Belgian company who were hosting the address given out in the phishing email, the Polish company who were hosting the fraudulent site itself (to which the Belgian one diverted) and HSBC. This is in addition to phoning the Belgian company. I also emailed HSBC's phishing alert address.

I got an acknowledgement from HSBC along with a lot of rather patronising text explaining what phishing is (you might have though that people knew that, if they'd troubled to report the site, no?)

Right now, about 24 hours after I first saw the message, the site and its divert are still fully operational. I'm not wildly impressed by DWB Motors, Poland's Artleder, or HSBC in this - surely between the three of them, over a day, it might have been possible to lose the fraudulent site and its link? It's not possible for me to guess how much of this is caused by incompetence, laziness, etc. My conclusion, really, is that my contribution was worthless, and that concerned passersby are best advised to cross to the other side and continue on their merry way. After all it's not our money, so why should we care? (er ...)

Kat said...

Hahaha, "site web."

I clicked on the link and my computer blocked some potentially harmful stuff that the site was spitting out. For shame!

Strawberryyog said...

Yep - and the link, though it has moved to a new target, is still there right now. This isn't enormously impressive. Ho hum!

Strawberryyog said...

Kat, you didn't miss much unless you are a tractor fan! It is possibly not one of the web's naturally more inspiring sites ...

Strawberryyog said...

Interesting - 24th March today, just over a week now, and it's still up. I can understand that the company doesn't give a monkey's, but doesn't HSBC try to do anything about sites like this?

Strawberryyog said...

Emailed HSBC again. Watch this space, but do not hold your breath ...

Strawberryyog said...

Amusingly enough the HSBC response email contains this bijou gemette: To keep our customers protected, HSBC takes an active part in shutting down the corresponding fraudulent website wherever it is in the world, and we then pass on appropriate information to local law enforcement officers. Being a truly global bank, HSBC is well placed to bring pressure on the appropriate authorities around the world in its efforts to keep you safe. Really? Oh dear, oh dear. No phones in their office, presumably, as well as no-one who speaks French. They've probably sent them an angry postcard, in block capitals, addressed to JOHNNY FOREIGNER.

Still, it just goes to show, you can't be too careful.

Strawberryyog said...

DWB motors have, thank goodness, sorted it out at long last. Currently their entire site is missing, which does rather bring babies and bathwater to mind, but at least naive innocents are no longer being diverted off to give their bank details to naughty bad people. A muted hurrah may be called for.

Kat said...

Oh man, tractors! If you ever visit a John Deere factory show room, you might change your mind! I can fit myself into one their machine's tire wells!

Strawberryyog said...

Oh no, I like tractors well enough, though I cannot claim to have ever been inside the tyre well of one. (Could this be a novel method of smuggling illegal immigrants into Somerset? Oh never mind.) No, I just meant that the DWB website was not an exciting place to read about them! But now it's gone anyway ... tsk.