Poll: When did you experience your last phishing attack?

Do you find that phishing bait is being dangled in front of you more often lately?

My older brother has taken a fancy to Saturday morning fishing shows on some sports channel way up the dial. While he dreams of a vacation in the Florida Keys catching Sun fish, I roll my eyes and sigh deeply wishing desperately to change the channel.

That sigh and feeling of desperation is just about the same feeling I get from seeing a phishing email - I really just want it to go away. But, unfortunately, the number of phishing emails I have been receiving recently seems to be on the increase. Even more troubling, is that the quality of the phishing ploys has become much more sophisticated. To a more trusting eye, these phishing emails have just enough legitimacy to make them clickable - a very dangerous development.


And, if that was not bad enough for you, now Ed Bott is reporting that Google is notifying Gmail users when it suspects users may have be subjected to a state-sponsored attack. Not only do we have to worry about someone trying to bilk us out a few bucks, but we also have to be wary of a foreign government trying to infiltrate our security systems for reasons undetermined.

To further exacerbate the problem, there is now evidence that a recent spate of password leaks has given malefactors a catalyst for more phishing attacks. Helen A.S. Popkin over on Technolog explains how some potential scammers are using the leaked passwords news as the basis for a ploy to get users to confirm their passwords are still valid by entering their passwords into a bogus website.

The Internet is a tough place to work and play.

Your experience

So what has been your experience with phishing attacks recently? Have you noticed more phishing emails coming through on your Google Apps Gmail account or are the filters still doing a good job in that regard?

What have you been telling users in your organization about phishing emails? Are you taking a proactive approach to the problem or do you prefer to put out fires as they come up?

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Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to,, and TechRepublic.

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