SOURCE: SpamTitan


October 05, 2009 08:00 ET

SpamTitan Identifies Increased Phishing Dangers Associated With Social Media Networks

Rising Popularity of Facebook, Bebo, Twitter and MySpace Open Up Technical and Social Vunerabilities Leading to Phising Attacks

BOSTON, MA and GALWAY, IRELAND--(Marketwire - October 5, 2009) - SpamTitan, a leading producer of email security solutions, today reports its findings on the dangers of phishing attacks within social media and community networks. Phishing, a form of Internet fraud, aims to steal valuable information such as credit cards, bank details, user IDs and passwords. It uses spam, malicious Web sites, email messages and instant messages to trick people into divulging sensitive information.

SpamTitan notes phishers are getting smarter in utilizing social media communities to acquire a user's personal information. In a recent analyst survey, it was reported that 19% of all those surveyed clicked on a link in a phishing email, and 3% admitted to giving up financial or personal information.

In a recent Intrepidus Group study of 69,000 employees worldwide, the effects of 32 phishing scenarios proved that 23% of people are vulnerable to targeted or spear phishing attacks. SpamTitan predicts that in 2010 phishing attacks will incorporate greater elements of context to become more effective and dangerous. The outcome of such attacks will result in interrupted service of any frequently used resource by causing a victim's password to lock up. The cleverness of the phisher is demonstrated when the phisher notifies the victim of the security threat and offers help. The victim in turn welcomes the help and then is easily persuaded to disclose personal information. In addition to this example, SpamTitan is also seeing an increase in the use of friendly email messages to encourage recipients to reveal more online than they otherwise would, playing right into the phisher's hands.

According to Ronan Kavanagh, SpamTitan CEO, "The explosion of social networking sites such as Facebook, Bebo and MySpace means that people are socializing wherever they can get online -- at home, at work or on the move. Given that phishing attacks take advantage of both technical and social vulnerabilities, there are a large number of different kinds of attacks."

Social networks are particularly vulnerable to phishing attacks -- which can also be used to steal users' identities -- because members tend to be less suspicious of messages apparently sent by their friends than random spam messages. The fake sites use a similar URL to sites such as in an attempt to steal people's login information. The people behind these websites then use the information to access victims' accounts and send messages to their friends, further propagating the illegitimate sites. The end aim is that the phishers make money by exploiting the personal information they've obtained.

To safeguard customers from phishing attacks, SpamTitan uses a multi-layered approach that incorporates ClamAV -- a large set of Phishing signatures, the user of SURBLs and heuristic rule tests. The ClamAV phishing module that SpamTitan deploys delivers better and more generic detection of phishing emails by searching for URLs in email messages and can also detect day-zero phishing emails.

About SpamTitan

SpamTitan, the global provider of sophisticated enterprise-level email security solutions, offers small and medium size businesses the most comprehensive protection from email threats, including SPAM, viruses, Trojans, Phishing, Malware and other unwanted content. SpamTitan's unique approach in utilizing next-generation virtualization software eliminates the need for unwieldy hardware, giving customers unparalleled flexibility, versatility and capability but at an affordable price. Integrating best of breed technologies, SpamTitan provides an easy to install, easy to manage and highly secure email gateway. SpamTitan, a division of CopperFasten, is a global company with headquarters in Galway, Ireland.

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Contact Information

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