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Internet threat levels assume alarming proportions in Middle East – itsReal

Internet threat levels are reaching alarming proportions with 70 per cent of Middle East users under attack on a daily basis, according to a new survey.

Security software and services provider Trend Micro, which is taking part in Gitex, quizzed GCC-based organisations and individuals. The study revealed that in the past three months alone 80 per cent of users were affected by spam, 31 per cent were affected by viruses and 23 per cent were affected by viruses and trojans. And 25 per cent were unaware of the threats impacting the region. Out of the 500 respondents, 81 per cent checked personal e-mails at work and 54 per cent checked their personal financial data online. The survey also shows that 87 per cent of IT departments rely on basic protection.

“To operate in an internet era is not without peril – the threats are real and can be financially damaging,” said Trend Micro’s Chief Technology Officer Raimund Genes. “Our survey reveals that organisations and individuals are not taking the threat level seriously and that needs to change quickly.

“Globally, businesses and individuals are plagued by identity threats and loss of personal and corporate information. The Middle East is not immune to attacks.”

Internet threat levels assume alarming proportions in region

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Trend Micro Now Warns of call centre fraud – itsReal

Voice Phishing Rising In Threat

Vishing, or voice over Internet Protocol phishing, attempts to steal information from people via the phone rather than the computer.

Voice Phishing Rising In Threat
Voice Phishing Rising In Threat

People who have come to view their email inboxes with a level of skepticism and caution may not have the same defensive mindset in place when it comes to the phone. It’s something more criminals are taking advantage of now.

Security vendor Trend Micro said such attacks continue to increase in number. Since being noted in 2006, vishing escalated to the point in January 2008 where the FBI cited its rise in an Internet Crime Center advisory:

The IC3 has received multiple reports on different variations of this scheme known as “vishing”. These attacks against US financial institutions and consumers continue to rise at an alarming rate.

Vishing operates like phishing by persuading consumers to divulge their Personally Identifiable Information (PII), claiming their account was suspended, deactivated, or terminated. Recipients are directed to contact their bank via telephone number provided in the e-mail or by an automated recording. Upon calling the telephone number, the recipient is greeted with “Welcome to the bank of …” and then requested to enter their card number in order to resolve a pending security issue.

Trend Micro now cited evidence of a toolkit in the wild that makes it easier for criminals to perpetrate vishing schemes. People should limit their calls to financial institutions to the numbers provided on their bank cards or authentic statements; a new number could be a lead to a trap.

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