Phishing cost the U.S. $3.2 billion in 2007

Stamford (CT) - A report coming out of Gartner has pinned the cost of phishing attacks at $3.2 billion for the U.S. alone. There were 3.6 million adults who lost money in the time period between September 1, 2006 and August 31, 2007. That's up from only 2.3 million the year before, with 3.3% of those who received phishing emails saying they lost money because of it, up from only 2.3% in 2006 and 2.9% in 2005.

The attackers have stepped up their game. Avivah Litan, VP and "distinguished analyst" at Gartner, said, "Criminals have stepped up attacks on debit card and bank accounts, where back-end fraud detection systems are traditionally weaker than they are with credit card accounts."

Regarding the software side, Ms. Litan said, "Phishing attacks are becoming more surreptitious and are often designed to drop malware that steals user credentials and sensitive information from consumer desktops. 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." Gartner's report goes on to that 11% of online adults do not use any kind of security software, like anti-virus or anti-spyware products on their desktop. An impressive 45% state that they only use what they can get for free.

Gartner reports that the average dollar loss per incident in 2007 was $886, down from $1,244 in 2006. Of the total $3.2 billion loss, the amount consumers were able to recover in 2007 increased to 64% and 1.6 million adults, up from 54% in 2006 and 1.5 million adults. Despite the increase, Gartner is reporting that bank regulators appear to generally be in the dark about the danger and monetary loss from phishing attacks.

Sour??e: TG Daily

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