Transmitters of phishing have been manipulating users out of credit card numbers and other personal information since the mid 90s. The problem has been brought to light more recently as users have become more knowledgeable of the Internet and the methods that phishing uses to lure people into revealing sensitive information to unreliable sources. However, the problem has still managed to spike recently.
Today, Google and Yahoo have teamed up to combat the perpetrators of phishing through DMARC.org – Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance. The two search engine powerhouses are working with Bank of America and Fidelity Investments to create this technical specification that will provide reliable authentication results to Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo Mail and AOL users.
What’s To Blame For The Increase In Phishing?
DMARC’s group of search engines and financial services blame social media for the spike in phishing because of the readily available user accounts and personal information across social media platforms and e-commerce sites. Well-known brands are easily targeted in emails because users naturally find them more authoritative.
The following is an excerpt DMARC’s site explaining why spammers target email: “Email is easy to spoof and criminals have found spoofing to be a proven way to exploit user trust of well-known brands. Simply inserting the logo of a well known brand into an email gives it instant legitimacy with many users.”
There are already two existing authentication screening mechanisms – SPF and DKIM – that will become standards in the industry with the implementation of DMARC. The fact is that most phishing emails are already intercepted and sent to the user’s spam folder. The goal of DMARC is to remove those emails from the spam folder altogether. Inexperienced users are still easy targets for phishing emails to trick them out of their personal information.
How can you avoid being the target of spammers? Avoid clicking on URLs within emails and be aware of popular scams that are infiltrating the Internet.