Phishing attacks in Singapore dip to 1 in 585 emails

Even spam ratio fell by 6ppts.

According to Symantec, the global ratio of spam in email traffic fell by 6.5 percentage points since December, to 64.1 percent (1 in 1.56 emails). Similarly in Singapore, the ratio of spam in email traffic also fell by 6 percentage points since December, from 69.2 percent to 63.2 percent.

The global ratio of email-borne viruses in email traffic was one in 400 emails (0.25 percent) in January, a decrease of 0.11 percentage points since December. The phishing rate in Singapore also decreased to one in 585 emails, as compared to one in 493 emails in December.

Symantec also cautioned online users of the latest phishing attack on Twitter.

Twitter recently announced that the details of around 250,000 users may have been compromised before it discovered and stopped an attack on their network. When attackers go straight to the service provider to steal your data, there is not much you can do; however, it is also common for attackers to approach the end-user in order to obtain account details.

The Symantec response team has observed one particular attack taking place on Twitter over the past few months.

It starts out with spam in the form of a direct message (DM) or a tweet that asks the user to click on a link in order to view a picture of them.

If the link is clicked, the browser is directed to a page that informs the user that he needs to sign-in to his account to proceed. The page looks like it belongs to Twitter but it is actually a phishing page hosted on a server prepared by the attacker.

No matter what is entered into the login fields, correct or incorrect credentials, the user will appear back in his session. However, another fake page informs the user that the page he is attempting to visit does not exist.

The page then redirects back to the legitimate Twitter page and the user is unaware of anything malicious having taken place. Later, the account will be hijacked and used to distribute spam that leads to advertising sites.

Symantec advises users to always be suspicious of links from unknown senders. Also, accounts are hacked all the time, so links that you receive from someone you know do not mean they are safe. It is also recommended that users install security software that protects against phishing attacks such as Norton Internet Security.

To make your online accounts more secure, use passwords or passphrases that are difficult to guess, ideally a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters should be used. 

In the Jauuary 2013 edition of the Symantec Intelligence Report, the global phishing rate decreased by 0.068 percentage points, taking the global average rate to one in 508.6 emails (0.197 percent) that comprised some form of phishing attack. Information services was the most targeted industry for phishing, collecting 36.3 percent of all attacks for the month.

The global ratio of spam in email traffic also fell by 6.5 percentage points since December, to 64.1 percent (1 in 1.56 emails). Dominating the global spam traffic was the Sex/Dating category, making up a whopping 71.65 percent of all spam traffic.



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