Phishing Becoming the Most Popular Method of Identity, Data Theft
| Topic : Email Security
Cybercriminals have expanded and refined their methods of thwarting data protection practices and successfully infiltrating sensitive personal and enterprise information. While spam carrying malicious attachments was more prevalent historically, new research from a leading internet security firm has found phishing to be the method of choice in recent months, InfoSecurity reports.
According to the source, one researcher from the firm, Samir Patel, found that phishing leads to the best return of investment for cybercriminals, which is why he believes hackers in a down economy have increasingly turned to the method to acquire personal information.
"This volatile economic state has perhaps impacted the strategy of email spammers in a very defining way as well, especially from the point of view of pushing additional spam mails," Patel said in a blog, the website reports. "A paradigm shift is being observed from spam to phishing. Therefore, it is worth lending some thought to the modus operandi of spammers."
The website notes that Patel's research revealed that phishing volumes increased by just under 50 percent between August 2010 and 2011.
Industry firm Gartner released a report that estimated the cost of phishing to be $1.2 billion annually, as 57 million internet users have fallen victim to this form of cyber attack.