Computer Crime Research Center


Phishing survey

Date: November 28, 2007

According to a survey carried out on behalf of Cloudmark, consumer confidence in brands would be severely dented by a phishing attack. Banks are most at risk, but ISPs, online shopping sites and even social networking sites would also see a fall in consumer confidence after a phishing attempt.

Phishing is an online scam where emails are sent to members of the public supposedly by a bank. The emails request personal information such as account numbers, card numbers and PIN codes. This information is then sold to the highest bidder, giving them full access to the account.

Of respondents, 42% felt that trust in a brand would be "greatly reduced" in the wake of a phishing attempt. Of those surveyed, 41% claimed trust in a bank would be "greatly reduced" by a phishing attack, while 40% said the same about an ISP. This figure falls for online shopping sites and social networking sites to 36% and 33% respectively.

There is no clear answer regarding the responsibility for protecting people from phishing attacks. Of respondents, 26% felt it was their duty to protect themselves, while 23% felt it was the responsibility of their ISP or email service provider to protect customers from phishing emails. Slightly fewer respondents, 17%, felt that it was the duty of the sender's ISP and email service provider to stop the emails from being sent in the first place.
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