Computer Crime Research Center


Phishing study

Date: May 05, 2006

A study conducted by Harvard and Berkley shows that people, even those that should know better, were still likely to be fooled by phishing sites.

According to the post, up to 90% of participants of the study were fooled by a bogus URL meant to closely resemble a legitimage banking site. In the study, entitled Why Phishing Works , it is noted that better measures should be implemented to alert web surfers when sites are legitimate and when they are not.

Here are some highlights of the study:

* Cues that are supposed to help you figure out whether a site is legit, such as address bar, status bar or security indicators, weren't even looked at by 23% of participants.

* There was no significant difference between the performance of men vs. women, older people vs. younger people or people at different education/Web savvy levels. In other words, everybody got fooled at about the same rate.

* Other phish sites that fooled most participants included a variety of fake PayPal sites and a bogus Etrade site.
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