How dangerous are Phishing Scams?

Phishing is an act of sending emails to a user claiming to be a legitimate establishment in order to scam the user to carry out malicious activity like stealing private information. Phishing emails like this will direct the user to a website where they will be asked to give out certain personal information like name, password, credit card details or bank account numbers.

phishing scam

According to Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG News) in 2014, 54% of phishing emails target major brands like PayPal, Apple, Chinese Marketplace Taobao etc. indicating that phishers look out for victims in the niche industry segment. Millions of phishing URLS were reported in the same year, there were at least 123,972 unique phishing attacks worldwide in the second half of the year, reported by APWG News.

Phishing emails are sent out to thousands. By targeting a large group of people, the hacker relies on the email being read by a particular segment of people who actually have an account with the legitimate company and being spoofed in the email or corresponding webpage.

On March 22, 2016, APWG released its Phishing Trends Reports for Q4 2015, according to which, USA is the top country hosting phishing based Trojans and downloaders during the three month period. Besides, 14 million malware were captured during the same quarter.

Talking about the Quarter 1 of 2016, the Anti-Phishing Working Group named the countries which top the list of being most infected including China with 57.24% of computers are infected, followed by Taiwan with 49.15% infected computers and Turkey finishing at 42.52%.

How does this work?

A victim receives a message appearing to have come from a legitimate source or a known contact or organization. An attachment or links in the message may spread or install malware once clicked or opened on the users’ device. It may also direct the user to a malicious website where their personal information is being asked.

In order to make the phishing messages look authentic, the phishers include logos or other identifying information taken directly from that company’s website. The links and the mail body are designed to make it look like original. The use of misspelled URLs or subdomain are the common tricks being carried out by these malicious hackers. Some of the phishing scams are JavaScript and places a picture of an authenticated URL.

Installing reliable security software can help you keep such phishing attacks at bay. REVE Antivirus is one such internet security software that assures total protection to your computer. Besides, keeping your software updated and being alert in opening email attachments can help you ensure that your system doesn’t become prone to such malicious attacks.

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