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Security firms are reporting that IT departments must be careful of increased threats to corporate networks and data from phishing and malware attacks. There are 33 million unique phishing messages every week, according to Dave Cole, director of security product management at Symantec Security Response. He says this plus an increase in the distribution of malware designed to steal confidential information presents a challenge for IT. Phishing, according to the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG), an industry association devoted to eliminating phishing, is definable as attacks that "use both social engineering and technical subterfuge to steal consumers' personal identity data and financial account credentials." Corporations often find that they are victims of another type of phishing attack in which attackers use their good brand names and logos to trick people into responding to bogus solicitations. Although basic security approaches can protect against phishing and malware, Cole says it is also important to have "good Internet security hygiene" and multiple levels of protection for mail clients, servers, and client machines.
Date of Publication: May-June 2005