Feeds

Brace yourselves for Xmas spam surge

Stay alert

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
UK smart meters arrive in 2020. Hackers have ALREADY found a flaw
Energy summit bods warned of free energy bonanza
DRUPAL-OPCALYPSE! Devs say best assume your CMS is owned
SQLi hole was hit hard, fast, and before most admins knew it needed patching
Knock Knock tool makes a joke of Mac AV
Yes, we know Macs 'don't get viruses', but when they do this code'll spot 'em
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Mozilla releases geolocating WiFi sniffer for Android
As if the civilians who never change access point passwords will ever opt out of this one
Why weasel words might not work for Whisper
CEO suspends editor but privacy questions remain
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.