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spear-phishing

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IBM released the results of a security study showing a dramatic increase in phishing attacks that target specific individuals and institutions have increased dramatically.

IBM has seen a resurgence of targeted phishing attacks for moneylaundering and identity fraud purposes, believed to be largely drivenby criminal gangs that have become more astute in the creation anddelivery of such attacks. According to its latest Global BusinessSecurity Index, in the first half of the year, there were more than 35million phishing attacks launched to steal critical data and personalinformation for financial gains.

Spawns of phishing threats such as 'spear phishing' - highlytargeted and coordinated attacks at a specific organization orindividual designed to extract critical data - increased more thanten-fold since January of this year alone. Unlike in previous years,when viruses were mainly created and launched to slow down and crippleIT systems, these types of 'customized' attacks have shown theirpotential to defraud businesses, steal identities and intellectualproperty and extort money, while damaging the brand and erodingcustomer trust.

While I'm definitely getting sick of the excessive use of cutesy names for online fraud, this one at least doesn't sound like it was made up in a marketing brainstorm session.

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