Phishing has been discovered to be the Biggest Online threat Among Others

Alfred Osborne
November 14, 2017

Third-party breaches exposed 3.3 billion credentials, while keyloggers and phishing were responsible for stealing 788,000 and 12 million credentials respectively.

According to the Mountain View Company, a total of 12 percent of the exposed records used Gmail addresses as a username and seven percent of those accounts reused the Gmail password for other services. The success rate is higher when using phishing and keyloggers: 12 - 25 percent of passwords obtained using these attacks yielded valid passwords.

Google said that its research tracked several black markets that traded third-party password breaches, as well as 25,000 blackhat tools used for phishing and keylogging. More than 15 percent of daily internet users have reported that they have faced the same problem with their email or social media account.

In terms of risk to the user, phishing was the greatest threat, followed by key loggers then third-party breaches.

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A Google team found that Gmail accounts are more likely to be hijacked if hackers are using phishing methods than using malicious software such as keyloggers.

Google said that hackers are searching and have found different usernames and passwords on different platforms on the black market.

"Finally, we regularly scan activity across Google's suite of products for suspicious actions performed by hijackers and when we find any, we lock down the affected accounts to prevent any further damage as quickly as possible", the company added. For instance, many hackers are now using IP addresses, phone numbers, geolocation, and even device model information to break into the accounts. Since human errors are hard to prevent, experts believe existing protections should be upgraded in order to keep users safe and stay ahead of hackers. For example, Safe Browsing, which now protects more than 3 billion devices, alerts users before they visit a unsafe site or when they click a link to a risky site within Gmail. For example, Google recommends visiting its Security Checkup page to make sure you have recovery information associated with your account, like a phone number.

Google has increasingly tried to protect its users from having their accounts "hijacked" through the implementation of new security tools such as its recently announced Advanced Protection program and through its new two step verification program Google Prompt.

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