Free web hosting is a boon to phishers

Sometimes it seems that every legitimate service offered online can be misused by phishers, scammers and cyber criminals in general.

Free mail services are abused to send out spam. The Amazon cloud is used by criminals to host malware and mount attacks. Search engines are used to offer poisoned search results and to drive users to malware or scam sites. Social networks are misused to spread malicious links.

Free hosting services are also a boon for scammers, since they need a place to set up malicious sites as quickly as they get pulled down.

There are many such services on the Web, and among them is a free anonymous web hosting. And although the intentions of the people behind the service are honorable, the site has proven very handy for phishers.

“Try searches on the site for terms such as ‘ facebook login’ or ‘ paypal’,” points out a Zscaler’s researcher. “Most of the pages are malicious.”

And while the service tries to keep the pace and take down or block the pages in question – or sets up warnings for users to see when they try to view it – it is a constant race against the clock, not to mention a drain on its resources.

Unfortunately, there is no easy solution for them, and until there is one, users must become accustomed to checking the URL in the address bar in order to be sure they have landed on the right pages.

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