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Mobile Users More Susceptible to Phishing
Category : General 04 Jan 2011 11:22 AM | Industry News
Smartphone owners are more likely to fall victim to email phishing scams than PC users, claims security vendor Trusteer.
The "always on" nature of mobile devices means that those users are more likely to read emails as soon as they arrive, and are therefore more likely to visit phishing websites. The usual phishing tactic of sending a message that implies a user's account has been compromised often spurs the user into immediate action. By contrast desktop users only read their emails once they are sat down in front of their PC, which can give security companies the chance to block attacks or take down websites.
The firm recently obtained data from servers used to host phishing web sites about the number and type of devices used to access them.
It revealed that, once an email is sent out alerting recipients to a fraudulent web site, smartphone users are often the first to visit.
In an interview Mr. Boodaei urged phone makers to implement some simple changes to the phone’s operating system that would cut vulnerability to these sorts of attacks.
“If you hover over a link or highlight it, it should show the full URL next to the link—that way users could see exactly where they were being taken. It would also help if the actual domain name was highlighted. Very often phishers will use a domain that looks like it might belong to the bank, but isn’t. If users could see that it might help.”
Furthermore, mobile Internet users are three times more likely than desktop users to give their crucial personal information to scammers.
Trusteer advises mobile users never to click on links sent via email messages, and recommends that financial companies display the same warning on their web site.