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Fight Phishing with Return Path

Posted on 5.01.2013

The reputational cost to a brand as a result of a phishing attack is approximately $1900 per infected user, according to a Cisco report. Can you afford that?

Return Path, an email intelligence company, recently announced a solution to help brand marketers combat phishing attacks (and save face and money) from all email domains by offering visibility into fraudulent email appearing to originate from a company’s own sending domains. Complementing traditional authentication-based solutions such as DMARC, the new Anti-Phishing Solution provides companies with visibility into the entire spectrum of phishing attacks against their brands, Return Path reports.

“Phishing remains a serious threat to online trust and the reliability of the email channel, and efforts like this from an Anti-Phishing Working Group member company represent important progress toward eradicating it,” said Foy Shiver, Deputy Secretary-General, APWG.

Return Path tells us there are essentially two fronts where phishers wage war: from a brand’s own domain, and so-called “lookalike domains” – close variants of brand names – entirely unrelated to the brands to fool the brand’s customers. Return Path gives this example: These phishers will create a dot com address using a ‘1’ instead of an ‘L,’ which often look similar at first-glance. These non-domain phishing attacks, which are the most prevalent type of attack, pose a serious and significant threat to consumers and the brand’s online equity. 

Traditional authentication-based solutions, such as DMARC, offer visibility into fraudulent email appearing to originate from a company’s own sending domains, according to Return Path. However, it is estimated more than half of all phishing attacks actually originate from the “lookalike domains."

“This is a monumental breakthrough in the fight to protect companies and consumers from phishing and other forms of email brand abuse. Our clients have reported that more than half of phishing attacks against their brands appear to come from domains beyond their control. Now brands can detect and mitigate attempts to use their names to deceive consumers through email regardless of where the messages appear to come from,” said Ken Takahashi, general manager of Anti-Phishing Solutions at Return Path. “Phishing is a security problem, but solving it isn’t a conventional security challenge, it’s a big data challenge.”


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