On July 5, Kaspersky Labs (www.kaspersky.com) issued a report about an increase in the number of phishing scams targeted at Apple Mac and IOS users. The report stated that between Jan. 2012 and May 2013, Kaspersky had been notified of an average of 200,000 phishing attempts per day.
Phishing scams rely on an email with a link to a fake website that attempts to collect personal information from the recipient. When the recipient clicks a link in the email, he is taken to a fraudulent website that is under control of a scammer. Historically, phishing sites have been set up to imitate a variety of different corporations, including retailers. On a retailer’s phishing site, the scammer is inducing the visitor to make a purchase and enter her credit card information when making a purchase. However, in the cases cited by Kaspersky, the website emulates Apple.com and is attempting to collect the individual’s Apple ID, which will give the scammer access to the visitor’s credit card number and iTunes account.
The report also stated that these scams make it very difficult to tell the difference between the real Apple site and the fraudulent sites. The only way to accurately tell if the site is legitimate is to verify the URL in the browser’s address bar. URLs that do not end with “apple.com” should be considered a fake.
One way in which Apple attempts to reduce the possibility of someone gaining unauthorized access to an account is the use of an optional two-step verification process. The verification process requires the user to register trusted devices that can receive a message from Apple asking him to confirm his identity when a new device attempts to use his Apple ID. Apple claims that this verification process makes the user’s account as secure as possible. So, Mac users, let’s avoid the phishing scams and be safe!