Phishers move up the food chain

Internet fraudsters (phishers) who try to trick online users into passing over bank/creditcard/other private details over the web are moving up the food chain and attacking high net worth individuals. More sophisticated individuals surely won’t get caught out by these scams, I hear you ask.

Well, last month, thousands of senior US executives were targetted with e-mails that looked like official court summonses from a court in San Diego. They were told to click on a link to download the full court summons. Anyone who followed the link unwittingly downloaded and installed key logging software that recorded their passwords and computer use and sent it to the phishers. A second piece of software enabled the gang to control the computer remotely. Hundreds were caught out.This scam led the New York Times to coin a new phrase  for phishers who target upmarket individuals- "whalers"!

The message is clear. Organisations can’t rely totally on IT guys to combat Internet scams but must train all staff (even senior executives!)to be aware of the technological, commercial and legal risks and need to develop programmes to stop phishers from being successful.

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