It seemed only yesterday when I first received my first phishing email: one fine and dandy Tuesday afternoon, I saw in my self-hosted mailbox what purported to be “PayPal” sent me a very lengthy (it was very lengthy, I tell thee!) email to verify my (at least the email said so) latest online purchase. The message was fancy in HTML, complete with the logo, pale blue PayPal-style border and all that jazz, with a confirmation link at the bottom. It took me a few minutes to realize, and thankfully I did, that I actually used my Gmail account to register for PayPal instead! (I would also like to point out that Gmail with its community-driven spam mail filtering system catches more malicious messages than any man-is-an-island, self-hosted solutions. Go Web 2.0 and community!)
Finally, an online test that’s worth spending some time on: McAfee SiteAdvisor has set up a 10-item quiz that test your mad, l33t phish-catching skillz with screen captures that range from funny grammar to poorly-recreated company logos and spotting the badges of certifying third-party body.
For a 10-item quiz, I certainly took a longer time and zapped more brain neurons to complete this one. Sometimes the hoaxes are not immediately identifiable until you actually read the miles-long texts (even bordering to what looks like a magazine article bleeding with already-proof-read draft with red pen marks all over).
Phishing is not all FUD. It is a real threat that has cost millions in the offline world. Read all about phishing here. Also thanks to my friend Arbet for tipping me in.
How did you fare? Here are my results: