STAMFORD, Conn. -- Phishing attacks in the United States soared in 2007 as $3.2 billion was lost to these attacks, according to a survey by Gartner, Inc. The survey found that 3.6 million adults lost money in phishing attacks in the 12 months ending in August 2007, as compared with the 2.3 million who did so the year before.
According to a survey of more than 4,500 online U.S. adults in August 2007 (which was representative of the online U.S. adult population) the attacks were more successful in 2007 than they were in the previous two years. Of consumers who received phishing e-mails in 2007, 3.3 percent say they lost money because of the attack, compared with 2.3 percent who lost money in 2006, and 2.9 percent who did so in 2005, according to similar Gartner surveys during those years.
"Phishing attacks are becoming more surreptitious and are often designed to drop malware that steals user credentials and sensitive information from consumer desktops," said Avivah Litan, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. "Anti-phishing detection and prevention solutions are available but not utilized widely enough to stop the damage. These must be deployed and combined with solutions that also proactively detect and stop malware-based attacks."