Tuesday, November 27, 2007

40% of Consumers Lose Trust in "Phished" Brands

YouGov and CloudMark have published a survey that brand managers might find worthwhile reading - not that they are likely to learn anything new. To the surprise of no one, brands, once phished, are no longer trusted by 40% of consumers.

From VUNet: "Banks' reputations were the hardest hit when it comes to phishing. Over 40 per cent of respondents said that a phishing email about their bank would put them off. A similar percentage felt the same about their ISP, 36 per cent about an online shopping site and 33 per cent about a social networking site."

That wasn't the most surprising statistic to me - according to the survey, only 26% saw it as a user-level problem, while fully 40% of those surveyed felt their ISP should be primarily responsible for stopping phishing attacks. From The Register:

One in four (26 per cent) of 1,960 adults surveyed reckon the main responsibility for protecting against phishing attacks lies with themselves, with a similar percentage (23 per cent) responding that their ISP ought to bear the brunt of filtering spam emails. A further (17 per cent) think the sender's ISP and email service provider holds the greatest responsibility in combating scam emails.

Also troubling is the news that VOIP-based caller ID spoofing (aka "vishing") appears to be well on its way into the mainstream of attacks in the UK as well. Here's Neil Cook, Cloudmarks's UK technology chief, quoted in the same article:

"If the recipient makes the call, it gets routed to a cheap VoIP answering system, which may have been set-up on a compromised host. The system captures the user ID and pincode to sell on to the highest bidder, who then has full access to your account. All the while the call seems very genuine. The reassurance of speaking to an individual rather than working online will lead to many instances of consumers falling foul to such threats."

If you've never set up a call center, this probably sounds like science fiction, but unfortunately, this kind of "vishing" is extremely easy to set up, very cheap, incredibly portable, and because it sounds so real and involves live call-center-like humans, rather convincing.

Full article here.

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