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Seminar 10: Phishing Attacks – How Vulnerable Are We?

“Phishing Attacks – How Vulnerable Are We?”
by: Mr Jayaseelan Vejayon
Assistant Director,
Information & Communications Technology Division, QIUP
DATE: 19 June 2013 (Wednesday)
TIME: 3 – 4 p.m
VENUE: Lecture Room 4, Applied Sciences Building, QIUP


Phishing is the term coined in the computer world for the fraudulent or deceptive act to acquire important information (bank account details, usernames and passwords) from computer users. Phishing attacks are mostly financially motivated and thus have caused huge losses to both businesses and computer users. The statistics show that phishing attacks are increasing over time as the attackers are becoming more creative, deceptive and crafty in creating and using phishing techniques. In the first half of 2012, research by *RSA’s Fraud Action Research Labs showed that phishing attacks have caused businesses worldwide losses estimated at USD687 million – an increase of 19% from the previous year over the same period. For the whole of 2012, there was an increase of 59% in the number of attacks compared to 2011 which accounted for an estimated loss of USD1.5 billion. Experts claim that in social psychology, one way of persuasion is to get a person to purposefully “not think” but instead to “react emotionally and immediately”. Phishing attacks seem to utilize this knowledge to get their victims by introducing schemes that look attractive or urgent to them through offers such as prizes, refunds and many others. A recent report also shows that 45% of visitors to phishing sites readily provide important login credentials (e.g. username and password). This seminar attempts to create awareness by introducing and giving some insight to various phishing techniques as well as on how the attacks are carried out and how to avoid them. A live demonstration will also be presented on how to build a phishing site and how to send spoofed email messages with phishing content.

*RSA Security LLC – RSA was named after the initials of its co-founders, Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir, and Len Adleman.

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