Phishing E-mail Campaigns Getting More Targeted: Websense

by CXOtoday News Desk    Dec 13, 2013


In a recent report on the current phishing trends, Websense Security Labs noted that although phishing attacks have gone down slightly in volume, it is becoming more and more targeted.

“Cybercriminals aren’t simply throwing millions of emails over the fence. They are instead targeting their attack strategies with sophisticated techniques and integrating social engineering tactics,” said the report adding that scammers use social networks for attack. Once the intelligence is harvested, they use that information to carefully construct email lures and yield success.

Globally, the report found out the percentage of phishing attempts within all email traffic dropped to 0.5% in 2013. In addition to social engineering, geographic location also plays an intricate role in phishing. The top five countries hosting phishing URLs include China, United States, Germany, UK and Canada, according to the study, even though the phishing menace has become globally prevalent.

According to the research, phishing emails are titled to lure users in the most targeted manner. Researchers have found that the top five subject lines in phishing emails include:

1. Invitation to connect on LinkedIn

2. Mail delivery failed: returning message to sender

3. Dear Customer

4. Comunicazione importante

5. Undelivered Mail Returned to Sender

Websense researchers show how cybercriminals are attempting to fool recipients into clicking a malicious link or downloading an infected file by using business-focused and legitimate-looking subject lines. Scammers will continue to use any means necessary to increase the likelihood of an inspire-to-click campaign in the coming months, says the report.