I went in to BBC Radio Lincolnshire this morning, as is my occasional wont, this time to talk about email scams. I am not particularly a security expert but I guess being in the ISP game I would get more exposure to this than your average Radio Lincolnshire listener.
It was all about phishing emails from people after your bank account details, and especially spoof emails notionally from people you know. As a bit of background research I googled “how to hack MSN” and I was astounded to find 952,000 websites on the subject.
Similarly there was plenty on Twitter and no doubt there will be stuff out there on Facebook and others. I didn’t follow more than a couple of links and the first article had already been removed. It does certainly highlight the vulnerabilities of the web.
I get phishing email daily, mostly caught in my spam quarantine folder, and all of which get ignored/deleted. I do get some very genuine looking spam though appearing to come from reputable contacts. In one example a business partner of Timico’s had its contact databased copied a number of years ago. I still get spam appearing to come from this partner. There is nothing they can do about it. The data is gone.
I have never personally met someone who has been caught out by one of these phishing attempts. Not that is until last night when a friend rang me up and during the conversation mentioned that it had only just happened to him. He was busy and stupidly responded to an email and typed in his bank account details!
Luckily for him the bank spotted an unusual transaction and refunded the cash after calling him to check. It just goes to show how easily it can happen – to the unwary.