Phishing Attacks in May Jumped More Than 200 Percent

June 30, 2005

The phishing season is officially open. Phishing – using fraudulent emails to try to dupe recipients into revealing personal or financial information -- reached its highest level in May, according to IBM. The month Global Business Security Index saw phishing attacks increase 226 percent that month.

IBM security experts blame the rise in phishing attacks to burgeoning zombie botnets – networks of computers used to send spam and nefarious emails without their owners’ knowledge. The May report also found that more than 30 percent of emails contain some form of virus.

On the good news side, spam leveled off in May, although it still accounted for almost 70 percent of inbound email traffic.

"IT systems have become so crucial to today's business operations, work productivity, and customer service, that even a small disruption can have serious impact on business operations, and loss of data integrity or confidentiality can lose a customer base that took years to build," said Cal Slemp, vice president, security and privacy services, IBM Global Services. "Security is now something that companies can no longer afford to be without. IBM's approach offers companies a way to reduce overall business risk while helping them comply with legislations, regulations and build better business intelligence."

Source: IBM

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