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Proofpoint Lists Top Five E-Mail Blunders in 2008

E-mail security firm Proofpoint has made a list of some highly sensational e-mail incidents in 2008.

According to it, the first e-mail blunder was phishing Fiasco. During September 2008, cyber-criminals launched fake Websites for charities that asked unsuspecting users for donations to help victims of hurricane calamity. Any phishing Website can be created to trick people into revealing their financial information and the fraud is often discovered when it is too late.

Moreover, a hacker penetrated the personal Yahoo account of Sarah Palin, the US vice-presidential candidate, and leaked out parts of its messages onto a site. According to security experts, it might not be difficult for any determined individual to hack a private e-mail account; however, concerns have emerged about Palin using her private e-mail for official purposes.

The third incident was in connection with Obama when a malicious mail was disseminated in September 2008 claiming to contain a link pointing to a porn video of Obama, but in reality it contained a spyware program to steal personal credentials from the victim's computer.

Further, Oracle Corp. failed to find chief executive Larry Ellison's e-mails that were sought to provide clues in a lawsuit being tried in court. This was the fourth most frightening e-mail blunder in 2008, as Oracle itself was not aware about the location of the e-mails.

Lastly, NASA discovered a virus infecting a laptop aboard the International Space Station that holds approximately 50 computers. E-mail is still a very common distribution mode for new worms and other malicious programs, emphasizing the urgency for companies to install anti-virus software at the gateway of e-mail systems, on end-users' desktops and e-mail servers.

Meanwhile, sensational news titles whether fictional or real and current events continue to be popular subject titles in e-mails for spamming and phishing attacks as they attract recipients into viewing e-mails or their attachments.

Meanwhile, given the risks and expenses associated with e-mails, it is hardly surprising that 15% of IT executives in a Proofpoint survey stated that they wanted to remove the e-mail system from their organizations provided that was feasible.

Related article: PowerPoint Flaw questions Microsoft’s testing quality

» SPAMfighter News - 03-11-2008

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