July Phishing Attacks Ravaged North America!

by Brian J. Gillette

trimMail Network Advisory: Email-based phishing attacks intercepted by trimMail Inboxes across North America are up a whopping 271% this month, while viruses have receded by 58%. Forty three percent of all phishing attacks are aimed at PayPal customers, while another 10% target eBay. In the same period, phishing attacks aimed at banks have dropped over 25%.

Currently, over half of the intercepted phishing attempts target two sisters: eBay and PayPal. Both persist in sending HTML-formatted messages. While HTML may provide a modicum of eye candy, it allows attackers to easily hide dangerous scripts and URLs behind otherwise innocuous appearing copy. That's why HTML formatting is ridiculously inappropriate for messaging by financial and other security-sensitive services.

However, as it is unlikely that giant e-mailers will change formatting tactics anytime soon, administrators would be wise to intercept the beasts lurking behind HTML at the network border, before they get a chance to clean out their users.

About the Author: Brian J. Gillette is the editor of trimMail's Email Battles, a daily newsletter that covers the most interesting news from the front lines of the spam wars: spam, security, privacy, viruses and phishing.

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