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Study: Most people unable to detect email phishing attacks

Published on .

Raleigh, N.C.—Email phishing attacks are often successful because few people are able to spot them, according to a study conducted by North Carolina State University. The study, “Keeping Up With the Joneses: Assessing Phishing Susceptibility in an E-mail Task,” conducted with 53 undergraduate students during the summer and fall of 2012, found 89% were “confident” about their ability to detect the difference between legitimate email and phishing, fraudulent email that attempts to acquire such sensitive information as users' names, passwords and credit card details. However, 92% failed to identify phishing emails; 52% misclassified more than half the phishing e-mails they received; and 54% deleted at least one authentic email.
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