Plenty of Phish in the Cyber Sea

by Michael on October 23rd, 2006 in Industry and Security News, Security Alerts.

Ever received an e-mail in your inbox that looked a little "phishy"? Chances are that you have, and, even worse, it may have looked like it came from your bank.

Experts are saying that phishing attacks are a threat now, more than ever, as they start to target more and more financial institutions. In response, some computer users seem to be turning to "better safe than sorry" logic.

Earlier in the month, British police were faced with the task of notifying thousands of victims of data theft, after a seized computer was found loaded with personal information (including e-mail addresses, passwords, and credit card numbers) stolen through spyware and malware on the victims' computers.

The British police attempted to notify the 2,300 victims by sending out e-mails. But, according to authorities, the warnings were often ignored by the recipients, who figured they were receiving hoax messages.

Can we really blame them for being cautious? With online scam artists finding new ways to trick us out of giving up information, it's not always easy to tell the difference between legitimate requests and phishing scams, but it's a vital skill to have.

Need to brush up on your skills? Visit The Bitmill.com's "Phishing 101" for some helpful information on recognizing phishing attempts, or computer security expert Tony Bradley's "5 Steps For Users to Protect Themselves From Phishing Scams."

To see lists of past e-mail scams and fraudulent sites, check out the Anti-Phishing Working Group, an organization focused on wiping out Internet fraud. If you've been scammed or know of a fraudulent site, you can also report sites and e-mails to be reviewed and added to their phishing archive.

We'll keep on providing you with the latest threats to your cyber security, so you don't get caught!