CLICKING TO CATASTROPHE

The other day I happened to catch a radio program in which one of the experts from Mandiant was sharing the latest trends in cybersecurity.  Here are some statistics that might shock you:

1—Click-through Rates With Phishing Schemes.  Mandiant has done experiments in which it constructed phishing emails that were ultimately harmless, but simply enabled the researcher to see how many people choose to click on the links.  Even in cases in which the grammar was purposefully sloppy and the appearance of the email screamed VIRUS, the click-through rate ran about 20 to 25%.  Some of these phishing emails were of the sort, “you won’t believe what was posted about you; click here to see it.”

2—China’s PC Infection Rate.  Click-through rates help explain the situation in China where 50% of all PCs are now infected with some form of malware.  It appears China’s rapid industrialization coupled with brand new PCs in so many homes made the average user a ready target.  Being a growing nation with an increasingly high-tech population, I am amazed this would happen in China, but then again, human nature is the same worldwide.

Alas, as many have observed:  Social engineering works because there is no patch for human stupidity.





About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Tyco Integrated Security at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, and a blogger.

I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.


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