One Out of Six Phishing Email Attachments Get Opened, New Report Reveals

The first instance of phishing that was recorded online occurred in 1995, and by 2000, the infamous ILOVEYOU virus made it one of the most renowned forms of cybercrime in the world. In spite of the fact that this is the case, not much progress has been made in reducing the efficacy of phishing in subsequent decades. It bears mentioning that malicious attachments in phishing emails are still among the most widespread security risks out there.

Proofpoint, a cybersecurity firm for enterprises, recently analyzed 183 million simulations that involved phishing in some way, shape or form. With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that in a test conducted by IT departments, one out of every six recipients of a phishing email clicked on the attachment.

Another form of phishing that saw a surprisingly high level of success was link based phishing with all things having been considered and taken into account. The way this works is that the recipient will find a link that will either take them to a fraudulent password reset page, or some type of webpage that would result in them downloading malware or ransomware.

Link based phishing was successful in 11% of instances based on the analysis that was conducted by the aforementioned cybersecurity firm. The phishing method that had the lowest success rate of all was that of data entry phishing, which succeeded on just 3% of occasions.

This just goes to show that malicious links make up the most significant phishing threats of all. That’s why it’s so essential to avoid clicking on links that you have received in emails unless you are aware of who sent the email to begin with. Another important thing that people need to do is report phishing as soon as it occurs. Just 18% of the people that fell prey to phishing attempts in these simulations reported what had occurred, and that can make them considerably more dangerous than might have been the case otherwise. The low reporting rate has the potential to allow malware to spread even further.

H/T: Statista.

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