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News

Social Network Drives Vast Majority of Phishing Scams

Symantec : 16 February, 2010  (Technical Article)
Symantec has highlighted the role of social networking in phishing fraud with over 90% of adult scams originating on social network sites leading to other sites containing malicious code or fake antivirus software downloads
Symantec's January State of Spam and Phishing report has highlighted that an astounding 92 percent of adult phishing scams are now taking place on social networking sites. The report has also highlighted a new trend in adult oriented phishing which tempts users to enter personal credentials in return for free pornography. Once the site has this data, users are redirected to a pornographic website that then leads to a fake antivirus website containing malicious code.

The report also showed a high volume of Haiti related spam and phishing in January 2010 as spammers used the tragic event for their benefit. Unsurprisingly, Valentines related spam was also high in January, however it failed to match the levels of seasonal spam seen in the run up to Christmas.

Both scam and phishing categories doubled as in percentage of all spam in January 2010 compared to December 2009. With 419-Nigerian spam - whereby scammers request users host large sums of money while they move country with the promise of substantial returns - becoming more prevalent again. This accounted for 21 percent of all spam, which is the highest level recorded since the inception of this report.
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