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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Phacing the Phacts on Phishing

Nearly a quarter of PC users are targeted by monthly phishing attempts, according to a national study of online security.  Phishing is, of course, the practice of sending bogus but authentic-looking e-mails, purportedly from a trusted organization, to consumers in hopes of tricking them into revealing personal information.  It’s one of the fastest-growing crimes in the world, and the survey conducted by AOL and the National Cyber Security Alliance indicates there’s no reason to expect that to change anytime soon.

• Phishing scams’ increasing sophistication makes them tougher to spot; 70% of recipients say they initially thought the e-mails might be legitimate.

• 74% of consumers now use the Internet for transactions deemed sensitive, such as purchases and banking—and these are exactly the types of transactions that interest identity thieves who send out phishing e-mails.

• In January 2004, there were only 198 Web sites specifically created for phishing. By September 2005, there were more than 5,200.

Posted on 01/24