Feeds

UK punters lose faith in phished brands

Collateral damage

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Email phishing attacks tarnish the reputations of targeted firms, according to a new UK survey. Two in five UK adults (42 per cent) quizzed feel that their trust in a brand would be "greatly reduced" if they received a phishing email purporting to represent it.

Despite this, the majority of respondents to YouGov's online survey reckon the responsibility for protection against phishing attacks lies with ISPs and individuals themselves, rather than the brands targeted by fraudulent emails.

One in four (26 per cent) of 1,960 adults surveyed reckon the main responsibility for protecting against phishing attacks lies with themselves, with a similar percentage (23 per cent) responding that their ISP ought to bear the brunt of filtering spam emails. A further (17 per cent) think the sender's ISP and email service provider holds the greatest responsibility in combating scam emails.

Phishing attacks commonly take the form of forged emails that attempt to trick consumers into disclosing their login credentials in response to bogus warnings that prospective marks need to respond to a "security check".

Many high street names have bought in technologies or developed internal systems to identify and take down websites associated with phishing attacks. Preventing fraudulent emails reaching users' inboxes in the first place would involve measures such as promoting free or discount security and email filtering packages.

The YouGov phishing survey was sponsored by anti-spam firm Cloudmark, which reports that .uk domains are the single most common target of phishing attack across Europe.

Security experts at ISPs said it was unfair for consumers to hold the targets of attacks responsible for the crud hitting their inboxes.

"Whilst awareness to the problem is essential, it is unrealistic to expect businesses to be able to secure themselves fully against such sophisticated criminal activities. The increasingly dynamic and transient nature of the latest threats requires a combination of desktop protection at the client level, and accurate message filtering from ISPs," said Nigel Stevens, product director at THUS.

Gone Vishing

Cloudmark reports that would-be fraudsters are taking advantage of VoIP systems to develop more convincing attacks. One recent email scam, for example, poses as a notification from a recipient's bank requesting that they ring customer services to deal with a problem.

"If the recipient makes the call, it gets routed to a cheap VoIP answering system, which may have been set-up on a compromised host," explained Neil Cook, UK technology chief at Cloudmark. "The system captures the user ID and pincode to sell on to the highest bidder, who then has full access to your account. All the while the call seems very genuine. The reassurance of speaking to an individual rather than working online will lead to many instances of consumers falling foul to such threats." ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.