18 Apr 2011

Cyber criminals targeting email addresses more frequently

Instead of directly going after credit card information, hackers are targeting legitimate email addresses to trick people into buying fake products or to infect their PCs, according to a USA Today report.

Thomas Jelneck, president of internet marketing firm On Target Web Solutions, told the publication that cyber criminals can correlate a person’s shopping patterns for an advantage.

In the wake of the Epsiolon breach, The Better Business Bureau issued a warning to employees regarding malicious Chase Bank email addresses. Other companies affected by the breach include Verizon, Hilton and Target.

“By correlating names and email addresses with information about where a person banks and shops, criminals can more effectively bypass spam and antivirus filters and fine-tune phishing attacks - spoofed messages designed to trick you into clicking on a viral attachment or poisoned web link,” wrote USA Today’s Byron Acohido.

The amount of cyber criminal activity increased significantly during the first quarter of 2011. According to an internet security company, 73,000 new threats were released on a daily basis during this time, increasing 26 percent from the first quarter of 2010.