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December 1, 2014

Shoppers easily duped by malicious links

More than 40% believe emails from “trusted brands” are safe to click.

By CBR Staff Writer

Despite warnings, consumers are too quick to click on malicious links that appear to come from trusted brands, with 40% of the consumers from the US and UK thinking emails from "trusted brands" are safe.

According to a survey from cyber security firm Tripwire, 26% of consumers found links contained in subscription emails and newsletters to be safe, while 23% considered links sent from trusted associates to be safe.

However, 28% of the consumers believe that it was not safe to click on email shopping links.

Tripwire chief technology officer Dwayne Melancon, "The number one reason to click is trust in a brand, which isn’t good – I have seen some very convincing phishing emails and bogus websites that look nearly identical to the real thing."

"Shoppers need to look beyond the facade of convincing branding to make sure they aren’t being conned into clicking on a bogus link."

Holiday season is targeted by hackers to spread malicious links in emails, texts, newsletters and online apps. The links redirect users to fake websites, and according to a study conducted by Google, criminals succeed to fool users 45% of the time.

Tripwire security analyst Ken Westin added: "Savvy attackers know that malicious links are effective, that’s one reason phishing attacks are so pervasive around the holidays.

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"Employees should be particularly careful when checking personal email at work, or when clicking links in ads on social media sites."

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