Spammers look for salvation

Poor old Citibank. This financial services firm is still the biggest target of online scammers trying to get Internet users to part with their cash.

According to Clearswift's latest Spam Index, which assessed more than 19,000 spam e-mails in the month of October, almost 50 percent of mails in the scam category masquerade as communication from the US banking giant.

Clearswift managing director Peter Croft said spammers are expanding their arsenal of tricks to shift product but are still relying mostly on social engineering techniques.

Gartner predicts that social engineering - the manipulation of people rather than machines to breach security - will be the biggest security threat during the next 10 years.

Croft said phishing scams remain the most blatant use of social engineering to exploit novice, online bank users.

He said the October Spam Index shows spammers have turned to faith to instil credibility in their mails, offering finance from Christian organizations and using religious imagery.

Other e-mail spam trends include fake designer goods and bogus research.

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