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Surprising Phishing Statistics

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I was reading the Freakonomics blog (if you liked the book, you’ll love the blog, it has a lot of good stuff on it) when Stephen Dubner mentioned a report put out by CipherTrust, a security management firm. They studied the first two weeks of October and saw that all phishing attacks originated from less than five zombie networks (computers taken over by spyware/malware/backdoors/etc and send out these emails likely without the owner’s knowledge). Less than five!

Remember, if a bank or Paypal or financial institution ever unexpectedly contacts you via email, never click on a link in that email no matter how genuine it looks. If it were really urgent, they’d call you (they have your phone number) and if it’s not urgent, you can call them.

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2 Responses to “Surprising Phishing Statistics”

  1. Matt says:

    Yet another reason not to use HTML emailers. With the text version of an email, you can see when the URLs don’t go to http://www.paypal.com or whatever.

    But I’m not surprised that they all came from “only” 5 networks. Those networks of hacked windoze boxes are huge. And each one can send out truly massive quantities of whatever spam the hijacker specifies.

  2. jim says:

    I bet you the sheer number of zombie boxes wouldn’t surprise me but the fact that there are only 5 (I’d expect a little more competition) does.


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