(Kristin Judge via AnnArbor.com)
I love my mother. She is so thoughtful and always wants to share fun, inspirational, and educational emails with me after she receives them from one of her friends.
If someone in your life is constantly sending those forwarded emails with 100 people listed in the body of the email and a cute picture of a cat doing something hilarious, it may be time to have a chat. Those emails can be from well-intentioned people who truly are just sharing a cute photo, but the chance of the email having an infected link or attachment is high.
Phishing is a term that refers to attempts by individuals or groups to solicit personal information from unsuspecting users by employing social engineering techniques. The bad guys are getting good at making these phishing attempts look like the real thing.
Phishing attacks are on the rise, and a person with bad intentions can easily purchase kits online to teach them the tricks needed to perpetrate these attacks. In the RSA 2012 report, "A Year in Phishing"some startling numbers are reported:
- In 2011, approximately one in 300 emails was “deemed to contain elements pointing to phishing”
- An average phishing attack yields the attacker $4,500 in stolen funds
- Approximately 86 percent of the U.S. banking sector brands were targeted with phishing scams in 2011.