Users of Social Networks Wary of Phishing Attacks, Says Survey

Manila Bulletin, January 24, 2010 | Go to article overview

Users of Social Networks Wary of Phishing Attacks, Says Survey


Consumer awareness of phishing attacks has doubled between 2007 and 2009, and more consumers are now wary of these attacks, a new survey said.The survey also said the number of consumers who reported falling prey to this attack increased six times during that same period of time, according to RSA, the security division of tech firm EMC.RSA, which conducted the survey, said in addition, while hundreds of thousands of people join social networking websites each day, the survey found that nearly two in three (65 percent) people who belong to these online communities indicated they are less likely to interact or share information due to their growing security concerns.RSA said it polled more than 4,500 consumers regarding their awareness of online threats, concerns with the safety of their personal information online and their willingness to share it, and desire for better identity protection.Social networking websites have become a hotbed for online criminals because of their global reach and the participation by hundreds of millions of active users from all walks of life, RSA said.This makes these communities prime targets for exploitation by criminals who seek to steal personal information through socially engineered attacks.Reflective of this trend, the survey also said that four out of five (81 percent) people using social networking websites displayed concern with the safety of their personal information online.“Fraudsters continue to fine-tune their array of tactics that result in millions of computers becoming infected with Trojans and other malware,” said Christopher Young, senior vice president at RSA. “These online criminals are adept at social engineering with at-the-ready phishing attacks that are launched within moments of breaking news about popular celebrities, professional athletes or serious global events.The executive further said in these cases, “people are lured to legitimate websites infected with malware as well as complete fakes designed to look like well-known news sources.”“Trojans can easily be masked as ‘required’ updates to a media player which can result in countless computers becoming infected with malware. While it’s difficult to prevent consumers from visiting these websites, we can do a better job of protecting those who do,” Young added. …

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Users of Social Networks Wary of Phishing Attacks, Says Survey
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