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‘Open Rate’ of Phishing Messages is One in Six

Online miscreants send out as many as 59 million phishing e-mails every single day, and consumers open about 10 million out of these, according to a study. 'Iconix' conducted a research to discover that, on an average, users clicked one in six phishing e-mails - messages that are fraudulently created to trick consumers into disclosing personal information.

Vice president of marketing for Iconix, Jeff Wilbur said in a company press release that by now it is known how significantly phishing attacks have increased during the past few months. But how effective phishers are at enticing e-mail users to open the hoax messages is surprising. The statistics showing that 59 million phishing messages are delivered every day and 10 million of them are opened indicates the huge risk people face on receiving such messages.

The study also revealed that the type or nature of message was the determining factor in the varied tendency among consumers in opening spoof messages. While messages from social networks bore the tendency of users opening one in four fake e-mails, in the case of messages from dating services they opened one in ten.

Interestingly social networks and e-cards have the top rates in opening spoof messages. This implies users require being careful irrespective of the type of messages coming into their inboxes. The increased sophistication and prevalence of phishing attacks could entrap even the most cautious e-mail users, Wilbur added.

The open rate for fake social network related messages was 24.9%. Other categories with lower open rates were e-cards (17.1%); payment (16.2%); financial (15.5%); auction (14.7%); information (12.9%); retail (12.1%); and dating (9.5%).

In late 2006, there were many instances of phishing using MySpace where the perpetrators would disguise to be someone else, said Wilbur in news for ClickZ.

The historical cases of phishing were mostly related to banks or financial institutions. But, says Wilbur, social networking involves the trust factor of friends. The process is not only direct entry of information but the crooks employ lot of other ways to extract them out of a user.

The survey used 10,557 e-mailers during May-October 2006.

Related article: “Loopholes did not cause online banking thefts”: ICBC

» SPAMfighter News - 2/12/2007

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