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Experts Caution Indian Internet Users Against Phishing Attacks

According to Shantanu Ghosh, Vice-President, Symantec Software India Private Limited, Indian banks experience a six times rise in phishing attacks mainly because of more sophisticated phishing technologies, as reported by BusinessStandard on September 25, 2008.

Further, phishing and spam today represent a mature underground economy, with sophisticated production and provisioning, flexible models with multiple pricing, as well as outsourcing. Also, the terminology used is different, said Mr. Ghosh.

According to him, 80% of total e-mails are phishing or spam. The Web-based sites for social networking are the latest targets for phishers. And as per estimates, nearly 5-6 Million Indian Internet users browse social networking sites and spend nearly 25%-75% of their time online.

Ghosh also indicated that 51% of malware threats seen in India comprise a danger to confidential data. The country is one of the top ten nations generating spam. It was also placed at a high position on the worldwide worm/virus prevalence charts.

Besides, spammers and phishers are adjusting according to defense measures and migrating to countries with underdeveloped infrastructures. Also, they are adopting new techniques fast and frequently. spammers in India used more than 75 techniques and malware variants to deceive consumers in 2007. Further, the purpose of the online scammers' malicious activity is to cause damage to end-users rather than just attacking the computers.

Mr. Ghosh also revealed that cyberspace in 2008 has witnessed a steep rise in threats from malicious software, with 499,811 threats in 2008 compared to 212,101 threats in 2007, increasing at 136%.

Also, phishing is so rampant in India that building societies and banks have been compelled to send e-mails to consumers cautioning them against divulging their account information and other sensitive personal data to any person without proper confirmation.

Furthermore, Symantec Internet Security report reveals that two in every 3 e-mail messages that businesses receive today are spam, while the amount of productivity has declined because of the time given to delete them is valued at $712 per employee.

Thus, Symantec suggested that the optimal way of avoiding these dangers is using authentic anti-malware software and regularly updating them.

Related article: Experts Find Two Vulnerabilities in Firefox

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