Earlier this week, Google announced that hundreds of its GMail accounts were affected by an attack designed to forward the account's emails to other accounts. Google claims that the attacks originated from China and while they did not directly blame the Chinese government for the attacks that didn't stop that government from denying any involvement. Now a new report from Trend Micro says that similar attacks have also affected accounts recently for Microsoft's Hotmail and Yahoo's Yahoo Mail services.
According to the report, Trend Micro team members found a "phishing" attack on Hotmail that disguised itself as an email from Facebook's security team. The report says that users would be affected by the email just by previewing it rather than opening the email up. In addition the report states, "We recently alerted Yahoo! of an attempt to exploit Yahoo! Email by stealing users’ cookies in order to gain access to their email accounts. While this attempt appeared to fail, it does signify that attackers are attempting to attack Yahoo! Email users as well."
While these kinds of attacks may be hard to defend against there are some clues that a user of web-based email system can use to fight off against these "phishing" attacks. Trend Micro says that users can look for spelling or grammatical errors in these so-called "official" emails. Also you can use a two step email verification system to help make sure any emails you receive are genuine. Trend Micro also decided to promote its own software programs at the end of the report for defense against malicious emails.