According to a report by National ICT Security & Emergency Response Center ( NISER), one of the biggest threats in our internet security is phishing. From 2004 to May 2006, Raja Azrina Raja Othman, Manager of Digital Forensic Team at NISER said there was a steady increase in identity theft. In 2004, there were 92 cases of phishing, 2005 there were 132 cases and as of May 2006, there were already 40 cases. She said this during an e-business seminar in Bandar Sunway.
Reuter have reported 10 the first half of 2006, there were over 157,000 unique phishing messages sent around the world, an increase of 81% if compared to the same period last year.
So, what is phishing? Phishers send around email, pretending to be from financial institution or such, to company and individuals asking for their account numbers and password. They are part of an organized crime syndicate and praying on home user and going through social networking sites because more and more people are leaving too much personal details on the internet. Phishers are now becoming more sophisticated and are able to dodge spam filters and any other kind of internet security mechanism.
Internet users should be more aware of this phenomenon. Steps should be taken to ensure no security data was given out to unknown parties.
According to Raja Azrina, users should consider to change their browser from the popular Internet Explorer to others, such as Mozilla or Opera because of better security features. Microsoft patched holes in their browser in 9 days (previously 25 days) as compared to only one to two days for Mozilla and Opera.
In Malaysia, crime such as phishing are punishable under the Malaysian Computer Act 1997 and the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.