Feeds

Brace yourselves for Xmas spam surge

Stay alert

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

PC users are being told to stay alert in the run up to Christmas, as research shows cyber-crime is increasing and getting 'smarter'.

Crimes committed over the internet or through email have rocketed in recent years, with spammers and code writers constantly coming up with new ways to breach IT security. Despite conservative efforts to clamp down on cyber-fraudsters, the cost of breaches continues to rise, with UK businesses directly in the line of fire.

Research by software security group Prevx, shows that a quarter of people polled had fallen victim to cyber crime at some point. The most vulnerable age group proved to be 16 to 24-year-olds, as fewer than half of this age bracket knew about automated hacking tools. This is compared with 60 per cent of 45 to 54-year-olds. Over 55s were found to be the group most aware of internet worms, registering 93 per cent against 74 per cent of the youngest age group.

People and businesses in London were also particularly vulnerable, with 35 per cent claiming to have fallen victim to online credit card scams. This compares with only 22 per cent of people living in the East of England.

In addition, separate research by security group Clearswift, revealed the extent of scams targeting email and internet users. It claims spammers are relying on 'social engineering', a process by which people are persuaded to part with their money. Analysis of 19,000 emails revealed scams involving expensive watches, phoney bank accounts and online auctioneers.

Alyn Hockey, technical director ar Clearswift, said: "It makes sense for spammers to target our weak spots. Though their success rate remains minimal, their constantly evolving tricks means organisations have to rely on robust email security software."

Both organisations forecast a steep rise in scams during the run-up to Christmas and are urging bosses and their staff to be vigilant.

Copyright © 2004, Startups.co.uk logo

Related stories

Banks brace for cashpoint attack
Eight fined in eBay auction scam
Aussie 419 ringleader jailed for four years

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
BMW's ConnectedDrive falls over, bosses blame upgrade snafu
Traffic flows up 20% as motorway middle lanes miraculously unclog
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.