Conceptually, phishing scams sound easy to see through: a fake webpage with the wrong URL that doesn't look quite right -- who's going to fall for that? Quite a few people, apparently. According to a new Google study, the most successful phishing websites will capture data from 45-percent of its visitors. The least successful scams only scored information from three percent of its visitors, but when crooks are sending out phishing emails by the millions, that still adds up. The study found that the majority of the hijackers operate out of China, the Ivory Coast, Malaysia, Nigeria and South Africa, and that they work quick: 20-percent of accounts were compromised within 30 minutes of having information phished.
Most hijacked accounts are used to continue the cycle: sending emails to account's contacts asking for bank transfers (under false pretenses, of course) or simply distributing links that might capture yet more accounts. The best way to protect yourself, Google says on its blog, are the old ways: enable 2-step verification on your accounts when possible and "stay vigilant" -- report messages asking for personal information to and never, ever reply to them. Want to read the full study? Click right here.
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