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Phishers Still Favor Spam Over Social Networking Sites

Three-quarters of IT managers say spam remains the greatest source of phishing threats in the workplace
Boston, MA and Galway, Ireland – 21 September 2010 – SpamTitan Technologies, the makers of powerful yet easy-to-manage spam and web filtering software, today announced the findings of its latest survey of SMBs on the continued danger of phishing attacks. The research shows that despite media reports about the rise in phishing on social networking sites its perceived threat to businesses is marginal in comparison with traditional spam techniques.

An overwhelming majority (75 percent) of IT managers surveyed regard traditional spam as the top security threat. Opinion is divided over whether business network security measures have caused phishing attacks to migrate from email to social networking sites like Twitter or Facebook with 37 percent saying it is a growing phenomenon while 31 percent disagree. Instead they regard the move to on-line phishing as a natural response to the growth in the user communities of the main social networking sites.

Clear policies along with improvements in user education and awareness topped recommendations as the best way to beat phishing in all its forms.

“Phishing attacks remain a clear and present threat to businesses,” said Ronan Kavanagh, CEO of SpamTitan Technologies. “There is no evidence to suggest that network security measures are discouraging the number of phishing attacks it is simply that the arrival of social networking in the workplace has presented phishers with a bigger pond to phish in.”

SpamTitan’s survey findings about the phishing threat posed by social networking sites are consistent with another Internet security report from earlier this year. According to antivirus software vendor Kaspersky Labs Facebook's share of phishing attacks in the first three months of 2010 was just 5.7 percent. This earned it fourth place on the list of most-targeted Web sites a long way behind the leaders HSBC, eBay and PayPal which alone accounts for more than 52 percent of all scams.

To safeguard customers from phishing attacks, the latest SpamTitan release uses a multi-layered approach. It includes new malware detection mechanisms and other significant improvements to the scan engine including a large set of Phishing signatures, support for SURBLs (Spam URL Realtime Blocklists) and heuristic rule tests. The new phishing module allows SpamTitan to deliver better and more generic detection of phishing emails by searching for URLs in email messages and can also detect day-zero phishing emails.

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Background notes for editors

Phishing is a form of Internet fraud that aims to steal valuable information such as credit cards, bank details and passwords. It uses spam, malicious Web sites, email messages and instant messages to trick people into divulging sensitive information. Phishing techniques are commonly encountered in the form of email or social network spam. Fake banking and fake inheritance emails are among the most prevalent examples.

About SpamTitan Technologies SpamTitan Technologies, a global provider of sophisticated enterprise-level email security solutions, markets SpamTitan, offering small and medium size businesses the most comprehensive protection from email threats, including SPAM, viruses, Trojans, phishing, malware and other unwanted content. It also markets WebTitan, an easy-to-install, easy-to-manage and highly secure web filtering solution. SpamTitan Technologies' unique approach in utilising next-generation virtualisation software eliminates the need for unwieldy hardware, giving customers unparalleled flexibility, versatility and capability but at an affordable price. A division of CopperFasten Technologies, SpamTitan Technologies is a global company with headquarters in Galway, Ireland. For further information visit www.spamtitan.com.