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Brands lose trust from phishing email attacks

Brands lose trust from phishing email attacks

Confidence in UK brands is dramatically affected by phishing attacks, with 42% of people losing trust in a brand if they receive a phishing email claiming to be from that company, according to a YouGov survey.

The survey, commissioned by Cloudmark, found that 41% of those surveyed felt that their trust in a bank would be greatly reduced if they received a phishing email pretending to come from it.

However, the research also found that the majority of respondents (66%) felt that the responsibility for protection against phishing attacks lies with themselves, their service provider and the service provider that sent the phishing emails.

Phishing attacks are used to defraud consumers of their personal information, such as bank account details, by pretending to have been sent by a trustworthy business such as a bank.

Neil Cook, UK technology chief at Cloudmark, said: "What is interesting to note from these results is that well-known brands are suffering, with phishing attacks having a detrimental effect on their reputation.

"This knock-on effect will be particularly worrying for the banks, who rely on a high degree of trust with their customers."

Cloudmark also released its own research that showed NatWest bank was the most phished brand in the UK during October this year. The results were compiled from Cloudmark's user base, which consists of 260m mailboxes.

Cloudmark's research also found that across Europe, the majority of unique phishing websites are created using the top-level domain associated with the United Kingdom -- .uk.

The company warned of a new scam called vishing, in which scammers use cheap VoIP call centre systems as the back end to their phishing attacks. An email will be sent to a recipient, requesting them to ring customer services at their bank to deal with a problem.

If the customer calls, it gets routed to a VoIP answering system, which has been set-up on a compromised host. The system captures the user ID and pincode that the customer enters and it is then sold onto the highest bidder, who then has full access to the customer's account.

Cook said: "The call seems very genuine. The reassurance of speaking to an individual rather than working online will lead to many instances of consumers falling foul to such threats."

The YouGov survey was conducted online last month with a total of 1,960 adults.


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