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Phishing attacks attacking more businesses than ever

(Image credit: Image Credit: wk1003mike / Shutterstock)

Email is still the number one cybercrime infection vector, but it's far from being the only one you should be paying attention to. A new whitepaper from Symantec, entitled ISTR, says business email compromise, as well as spam, are also dangerous players in the game.

Here are the numbers: Email is the most popular platform among scammers. One in nine email users have had a malicious email sent to them in the first six months of this year. And that's just the global average. In the Wholesale Trade industry, that figure jumps to one in every four users.

When it comes to business email compromise, or BEC, things aren't looking any better. In these scenarios, a scammer impersonates someone like a company executive and tries to have users wire money or share sensitive data.

“It’s an attack that’s proven quite lucrative for scammers,” the report states.

“The FBI estimates over US$5 billion has been stolen through these scams between late 2013 and the end of 2016. According to our latest analysis, we see approximately 8,000 businesses targeted by BEC scams in a given month. On average these businesses receive more than five BEC scam emails each month.”

Despite spam emails seeing a steady decline since 2011, the messages are still a problem. Symantec says spam rates might start climbing again – the rate for H1 2017 hit 57 per cent, equating to 11 more spam messages a month, compared to a year ago.

The full whitepaper is available for download, you can find it on this link.

Image Credit: wk1003mike / Shutterstock