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Odds of Receiving Fake Mail from Financial Services Same As Catching Flu

Surprise: Financial services remains the #1 sector abused by malicious email traffickers.

The third quarter Agari TrustIndex reveals which industries are most vulnerable to cyber attacks and what companies and succeeding in fighting the good fight. Consistent with last quarter's findings, financial services are most vulnerable to attack.

Across the industries analyzed -- financial services, health care, logistics, online gaming, social media, e-commerce, and travel -- financial services once again came in as the #1 sector abused by malicious email traffickers.

According to the survey, consumers remain 7 times more likely to become victim to a cyberattack from their bank versus any other industry sector. In fact, your chances of getting the flu this year is about the same as getting a fake e-mail from a bank, insurance company, or online payment service.

[Compare with last quarter's report: 122% Increase In Financial Services Cyberattacks During Q2 ]

Spammers, malware writers, phishers and cybercriminals have not relented on the financial industry, exploiting the trust many have in their financial service providers. The report explains, "Where some sectors are plagued with generic nuisance spam, financial services see a high proportion of clever and high-quality branded phishing messages." This includes "plausible justifications for the victim needing to act, including online shopping and payment problems. To motivate an immediate click, they threaten to lock the account if the user doesn’t update their account information within 48 hours."

To conduct this report Agari has analyzed over 1 trillion e-mails, helping to block over 1 billion malicious messages. One out of 8 spam messages tracked appeared to come from a financial services firm.

Agari uses two security benchmarks: Agari’s ThreatScore identifies the market sectors that are most often targeted by cybercriminals. Agari’s TrustScore identifies brands at risk of loss of consumer trust based on their email security practices.

Financial services saw its ThreatScore decrease 1% from 7.14 in Q2 to 7.10 in Q3, in both cases far ahead of other sectors. To put it in perspective, health care followed with a ThreatScore of 5.98. Logistics (ex: FedEx and UPS) scored 2.95. Encouragingly, the financial industry's TrustScore rose 7% from Q2.

Of the top 10 brands listed as "working hardest to protect customers," Chase bank was the only financial service firm. Becca Lipman is Senior Editor for Wall Street & Technology. She writes in-depth news articles with a focus on big data and compliance in the capital markets. She regularly meets with information technology leaders and innovators and writes about cloud computing, datacenters, ... View Full Bio

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Becca L
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Becca L,
User Rank: Author
11/15/2013 | 8:44:28 PM
re: Odds of Receiving Fake Mail from Financial Services Same As Catching Flu
Sorry to hear about your impending flu. I've got a bottle of DayQuil and tissue pack with your name on it.
Nathan Golia
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Nathan Golia,
User Rank: Author
11/12/2013 | 9:44:20 PM
re: Odds of Receiving Fake Mail from Financial Services Same As Catching Flu
Does this mean my chances of getting the flu are near 1? I don't know a single person without a junk e-mail folder full of bogus financial e-mail. I get it both at work and on my personal e-mail.
Becca L
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Becca L,
User Rank: Author
11/12/2013 | 9:04:07 PM
re: Odds of Receiving Fake Mail from Financial Services Same As Catching Flu
Hahaha, read that is a good start to any day.
KBurger
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KBurger,
User Rank: Author
11/12/2013 | 3:59:06 PM
re: Odds of Receiving Fake Mail from Financial Services Same As Catching Flu
It's not at all a surprise, it's a long-standing trend. I think what maybe is changing is that as the big global banks -- the prime targets -- get better at detecting & preventing these scams, the fraudsters move to the next level of low-hanging fruit -- mid-size, regional, smaller banks, and insurers. As Bryan says below, it's where the money is. I wonder if it's going to get harder to scam FS customers, tho, as they trend younger and more tech-savvy.
Byurcan
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Byurcan,
User Rank: Author
11/12/2013 | 3:03:12 PM
re: Odds of Receiving Fake Mail from Financial Services Same As Catching Flu
Yes that is also true, I get those and especially from fake Staples/Office Max addresses as well.
Jonathan_Camhi
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Jonathan_Camhi,
User Rank: Author
11/12/2013 | 3:02:50 PM
re: Odds of Receiving Fake Mail from Financial Services Same As Catching Flu
A lot of the bogus emails I get are funny grammar-wise. They're clearly written by someone who doesn't speak English very well. "Please click link to make receive your reward!"
IvySchmerken
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IvySchmerken,
User Rank: Author
11/12/2013 | 2:38:28 PM
re: Odds of Receiving Fake Mail from Financial Services Same As Catching Flu
Consumers need to know the online behavior of their banks to avoid these scams. Legitimate banks don't send out these types of requests to update your account information, or threaten to close an account unless you act, at least mine doesn't. Any requests to change a password or redirection to a URL are red flags. But as the fraudsters have become more adept at high quality branding, it's becoming more difficult to tell the impostors and the real thing apart.
Becca L
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Becca L,
User Rank: Author
11/12/2013 | 2:32:58 PM
re: Odds of Receiving Fake Mail from Financial Services Same As Catching Flu
I tend to notice the e-mail addresses the e-mails come from are bogus, like, UPS367284935@ups11.com. ... Yeah, I don't think so.
Becca L
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Becca L,
User Rank: Author
11/12/2013 | 2:31:49 PM
re: Odds of Receiving Fake Mail from Financial Services Same As Catching Flu
I get countless fake e-mails from the logistics category - FedEx and UPS. Maybe they know I am an avid online shopper, about once a week I have a fake e-mail about a (fake) package on the way.

I'm nervous to admit I haven't noticed any fake financial e-mails (queue the Jaws music)
keitha0000
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keitha0000,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/12/2013 | 1:49:03 PM
re: Odds of Receiving Fake Mail from Financial Services Same As Catching Flu
Luckily, most are still pretty easy to spot- most often a URL or reference to a URL that doesn't look right. They invariably ask for a username/password to do "verification" or something like that. Some of the more sophisticated ones use a warning of unauthorized access, as a distraction, and send the reader to a bogus URL, ostensibly to login and change password...
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