Feeds

One in 200 success rate keeps phishing economy ticking over

Nibbles add up to big haul

The essential guide to IT transformation

Phishers only need to land a minute percentage of victims to make scams worthwhile.

Stats culled from Trusteer's anti-phishing browser plug-in, which is offered by banks to their clients as a transaction security add-on, revealed that 0.47 per cent of a bank’s customers fall victim to phishing attacks each year. The figure comes from the number of users who visited and attempted to enter data onto a known phishing site but escaped because they were using Trusteer's Rapport browser security plug-in.

Half (45 per cent) of bank customers who are redirected towards a phishing site attempted to hand over their login credentials.

The overall response rate to phishing scams translates to between $2.4m-$9.4m in annual fraud losses (per one million online banking clients), according to Trusteer.

Trusteer's report (PDF) is worth considering because it looks at how many would-be marks respond to phishing emails (ie live attack data). Most surveys only look at how many phishing attacks are launched and what brands are targeted, without considering how successful these attacks actually might be.

The security software firm has come to prominence this year after signing up many banks, including NatWest and Alliance & Leicester in the UK, as customers of its transaction security software. Trusteer obviously has a vested interest in talking up the financial losses and danger posed by phishing but that doesn't mean it's necessarily wrong.

Harvesting online bank login credentials before cashing out compromised accounts is a major activity in the underground economy, which is growing more sophisticated and mature. The market has grown to the point where hackers have developed tools to harvest data from phishers, a sort of virtual stick-up.

The cyber equivalent of The Wire's Omar Little have developed an auto-whaling tool designed to harvest logins stored on phishing sites. Such attacks are possible because crooks themselves are making website security errors, as a blog post by FaceTime security researcher Chris Boyd explains. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
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.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.