Gartner: Over $3 Billion Lost To Phishing

Have you been reeled in by phishers?

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Criminal phishing in 2007 escalated in both the number of attacks and the financial losses resulting from them, according to a study from Gartner.

The Gartner survey on phishing determined 124 million online adults know or believe a phish hit their inboxes this year. Craftier criminals have adapted their techniques to snare more people, with Gartner claiming 3.3 percent of people who were phished lost money.

Though more people lost money than in 2006, the losses per incident declined. Gartner said the average dollar per loss incident dropped to $866 from $1,244 in 2006.

We think part of this change could be attributed to a couple of incidents in 2006. Both E-Trade and TD Ameritrade suffered losses when attackers managed to break into accounts and engage in pump and dump stock schemes. E-Trade lost $18 million, while Ameritrade lost $4 million.

Debit cards proved enticing to criminals through 2007. Gartner said due to weaker fraud detection for debit cards, thieves increasingly stole this information when they could.

Entrust president and chairman/CEO Bill Conner said in a response to Gartner’s survey that it’s time for the federal government to take a broader role in protecting people and businesses from these attacks.

"The government needs to continue to move quickly to mandate a national data breach notification bill with appropriate security measures – like encryption and stronger authentication – that truly protects the consumer’s information," said Conner.

Financial companies have never been what we would call "welcoming" when it comes to accepting more federal regulation. Even after epic security breaches at CardSystem Solutions and TJX happened, only at the state level in places like California has legislation been enacted to inform people in a timely manner about their details being potentially exposed when attacks have succeeded.


Gartner: Over $3 Billion Lost To Phishing
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