11:44 AM

More Than Half Receive At Least One Phish Daily

More than half of business PC users receive at least one phishing e-mail every day, according to a U.K.-based security company.

More than half of business PC users receive at least one phishing e-mail every day, a U.K.-based security company said Tuesday.

According to a survey conducted by Sophos of 600 business users, 58 percent reported seeing one or more phishing mails in their inboxes daily. More than 1 in 5 -- 22 percent -- receive five or more each day.

"The reason phishing e-mails are so prevalent is due to their success rate," said Carole Theriault, senior security consultant at Sophos, in a statement. "If you receive more than five phishes per day, you're either alert to the dangers or you're likely to have been robbed blind.

"With crooks employing more and more devious methods to dupe users, the best advice is to always be wary of unsolicited e-mails, and at all costs avoid parting with confidential information," she added.

Identity theft attempts typically start with an e-mail which purports to be from a trusted source, usually a bank, brokerage house, electronic payment provider, or major e-tailer. That message includes a link to a bogus Web site where users are duped into divulging data such as credit card and bank account numbers.

Sophos' numbers jibe with those of the Anti-Phishing Working Group, which noted in January that the number of phishing attacks in late 2005 reached an all-time high.

Last week, Visa Asia Pacific, the Singapore-based division of Visa International, announced that it had shut down 20 spoofed sites run by phishers on reports from customers that they'd received suspicious messages from the company's payment network.

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