`Human attributes govern vulnerability to fall prey to email phishing attacks`

A recent study has revealed that behavioral, cognitive, and perceptual attributes of e-mail users decides their vulnerability of falling to phishing attacks.

Updated: Jul 27, 2013, 00:01 AM IST

Washington: A recent study has revealed that behavioral, cognitive, and perceptual attributes of e-mail users decides their vulnerability of falling to phishing attacks.

Phishing has been long used for fraudulent e-mail correspondence to obtain passwords and credit card information of users, or to send viruses.

The paper `Keeping Up With the Joneses: Assessing Phishing Susceptibility in an E-mail Task` authored by Kyung Wha Hong has discovered that people who were overconfident, introverted, or women were less able to accurately distinguish between legitimate and phishing e-mails.

Although 89% of the participants indicted they were confident in their ability to identify malicious e-mails, 92% of them misclassified phishing e-mails.

Almost 52% in the study misclassified more than half the phishing e-mails, and 54% deleted at least one authentic e-mail.

Gender, trust, and personality were correlated with phishing vulnerability.

Women were less likely than men to correctly label phishing e-mails.

At the same time, subjects who self-reported as less trusting, introverts, or less open to new experiences were more likely to delete legitimate e-mails.

ANI