Phishing is when a message is sent to someone (over an electronic communication device), pretending to be someone else in order to receive personal information about them.
The main reason why the attacker sends out a malicious email is so that they can gain information on people. This tends to be having the victim fill in something which requires a username and password, after the attacker has these two bits of information, they could go onto other social media accounts and hack them. Some times attackers will aim for bank details, however this isn’t as common.
Many statistics believe that it would be millennials (women aged 18-25) who would fall victim most often to phishing, especially on Facebook, this is because younger people find it more difficult to notice the difference in a friend from a stranger.
Roughly 156 million phishing emails are sent everyday, however due to ‘spam filters’ only 10% of these phishing emails are able to get through (this being 16 million), despite them getting through, not all of them are opened as only 8 million, which is half the ones that get through, are opened. Then out of the 8 million phishing emails which are opened, only 10% of people click the link which will give away their personal information (Phishing: How many take the bait?, 2015).
Earlier on in 2016, the number of spam emails which included a malicious attachment, was up to four times the amount which it was in early 2015 (Gudkova et al., 2016).
The most targeted online industry when it comes to phishing attacks is ‘ISP’, this is at 24.4%, with the least targeted online industry being ‘education’ (President, 2016b). However the most targeted countries are Brazil, India and China all above 7%, within the second quarter of 2015.