Hackers are claiming the ultra-popular auction site eBay will shut down next month in their latest attempt to extract personal information from web users.
The phishing emails say eBay will close up shop on Feb. 27 and ask members to vote on whether they think this should happen. The message claims that if 50 percent of recipients disagree with the business decision, the website will remain online, according to experts at Sophos.
By clicking on either of the voting links, the user will be directed to a malicious website aiming to steal usernames and passwords.
"While not as sophisticated as some of the recent phishing campaigns we've seen, it could still result in the unwary handing their account details over to hackers, who could then use them to make fraudulent purchases and commit other identity crimes," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "It's unlikely that many people will believe that such a successful website is considering calling it quits, but they might think it is a teaser campaign by the auction giant for some other kind of promotion."
Studies on phishing consistently find eBay one of the most targeted websites. Earlier this month, the Google blacklist of phishing sites found that half of all attacks of this kind targeted the company.