Getting Hooked by Internet Phishing

Physician's Money Digest, August 2006, Volume 13, Issue 8

BusinessWeek

BusinessWeek

BusinessWeek

It is getting more and more difficult todecipher a valid e-mail from an e-mailscam. Con artists are pulling out all thestops to manipulate people into falling fortheir gimmicks. According to , hackers are becoming slyer thanever, playing on people's worst fears—insome cases, sending e-mails that accusethe recipient of sending spam and threateninga lawsuit against them. A 2005 surveyby Gartner Inco, quoted in , finds that although the number ofpeople victimized through Internet phishingdeclined from 3% in 2004 to 2.5% in2005, the actual amount of money lost dueto fraud of this kind rose from $690 millionin 2004 to $1.5 billion in 2005. If you are aphysician who's never tempted to reply tothe most trustworthy e-mails with personalinformation, you may still be at risk.describes one particularprogram recently discovered on a RussianWeb site by security firm Sophos Inc thatsends out spam-promoting news stories.The program itself tries to turn off PC firewallsand then installs a key-stroke-logger(ie, a program that can collect informationyou type on your computer regardless ofwhat Web site or program you are using; itlogs each and every key stroke you make).What it always comes down to: If you donot know the sender, do not open e-mailsor click on links.