Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Phishing - A PSA and a Quiz - How well can you score?

If you've had an email address for any length of time, chances are you've received something that could be categorized as Phishing. The basic idea behind phishing is that somebody (or a group of sombodies) creates a process for drawing in unsuspecting users and having those users provide them with otherwise secure or sensitive information (such as usernames, passwords, credit card info, and more). There are a number of phishing scams I'm aware of that go via the phone or even snail mail. But probably the biggest and easiest opportunity I see is for phishing via email.

I received an email and link to this quiz as an advertisement to use Verisign's services to help ensure security on our websites.

I thought the quiz was pretty interesting and wanted to share it. While I don't know that you'll be out looking to purchase Verisign security/authentication/etc, I think it is good for people to be aware of just how easy it is to be tricked into handing over your personal data to a phisher/hacker.

I know plenty of people who are just tech literate enough to muddle their way through documents, randomly surf the web, and read/reply/forward emails. It's these users who are likely in the most danger of being caught.

However, there are even plenty of opportunities for tech proficient users to be caught in a phishing scam, especially with how good some phishing schemes have become.

So…take the quiz. Learn some of the more common gotchas that you should steer clear of. I'd be curious to know how you scored so stop back here and share your scores. :)


logankstewart said...

That was an enlightening quiz. I got a 7 out of 10, but I learned quite a bit, too.

Thanks for sharing.

Okie said...

Gladly. It was funny, just after I received/posted this, I got an email asking me to stop by ebay. I had recently made a couple of purchases, so the timing made sense, but the various links in the message seemed suspicious. There were a number of very sneaky redirects involved, but it definitely wasn't from ebay, even though it looked VERY close.

It's sad just how much of this is out there.