Feeds

Why phishing reels punters in

User stupidity, natch

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

To tech savvy punters most phishing sites are obviously bogus. But a recent study by academics at Harvard and Berkeley reveal that 23 per cent of users only look at the content of sites when deciding whether they are legitimate or not. The presence or absence of SSL certificates and the url of sites doesn't enter into the decision of these potential dupes.

The study, Why phishing attacks work (PDF), suggests that greater user education and improved technical safeguards in upcoming browsers (both Firefox 2.0 and IE7 promise anti-phishing features) is needed in order to bring the problem of online fraud under control.

The usability study involved only a small sample of 22 users who were shown 20 websites and asked to determine which ones were fraudulent.

"We found that 23 per cent of the participants did not look at browser-based cues such as the address bar, status bar and the security indicators, leading to incorrect choices 40 per cent of the time," the researchers reports. "We also found that some visual deception attacks can fool even the most sophisticated users."

The research cites separate academic studies that suggest some phishing attacks convince up to five per cent of their recipients to provide sensitive information. Another study suggested that even when toolbars were used to notify users of potential security problems, users were tricked into providing information 34 per cent of the time.

The aim of the Harvard and Berkeley study is to help security pros better understand the attack strategies of phishing fraudsters so more effective defensive strategies can be formulated.

The Anti-Phishing Working Group received reports of 9,715 phishing websites mimicking 101 brands in January 2006, the latest month where records are available. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.