Research reveals many websites once used by US banks have been taken over by spammers.
The websites have become available after the banks owning them went bust, were bought or did not renew their rental of the domain name.
The cyber thieves are using the good reputation of the sites to spread spam or influence search results.
The research found that out of about a third of the domains the bank used, 1,030 sites have now been passed into the hands of criminals; and the researchers announced that the most harmful re-use of these sites was when they were overhauled to resemble a legitimate bank.
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