Users Remain Mostly Oblivious to Spear Phishing

A new survey shows that 50 percent of employees think that their company has been the victim of a targeted attack. Security firm Proofpoint found in its survey that these targeted attacks continue to be a nuisance, affecting both small and large organizations.  

A new survey shows that 50 percent of employees think that their company has been the victim of a targeted attack. Security firm Proofpoint found in its survey that these targeted attacks continue to be a nuisance, affecting both small and large organizations.  

A similar number, 56 percent of responders, believed their larger organization, those with 1,000 or more email users, were targeted as well. Another sizeable chunk, 34 percent of those who responded, said they had experienced a spear phishing attack believed the attack “resulted in the compromise of user login credentials or unauthorized access to corporate IT systems,” according to the survey.

The survey consisted of responses from more than 330 IT/risk management/compliance professionals who attended Microsoft’s TechEd conference in Orlando last month.

One of the bigger attacks in 2011, the attack on network security company RSA last spring, was technically spear phishing via an Excel spreadsheet that led to a malicious Flash payload. A recent study by mobile security firm Intrepidus Group found that roughly three quarters of employees fall for phishing scams.

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