Phishing: The booming scam computer crime
October 26, 2020

Author: Atty. Emily Sampedro Morales

emily.sampedro@fexlaw.com

 

 

Phishing: The booming scam computer crime.

The term “phishing” comes from the English words password, harvesting and fishing, which refers to “harvesting and fishing for passwords”. Precisely this crime seeks to appropriate confidential user data in order, based on them, to undermine the assets of others. The person who carries out this crime is known as a phisher. The origin of this crime dates back to the nineties, and throughout these years the use of this mechanism has been perfected and even the technique of phishing has evolved migrating to other forms of communication that have emerged, especially now with networks as social media, emails, apps, etc.

Above all, due to the current situation in society there has been a kind of mutation with other crimes such as identity theft. Now, online scammers target their victims through this crime and affect large companies that have been defrauded by this mechanism. For organizations, the costs associated with cybercrime are enormous. Cybercrime costs include data damage and destruction, stolen money, lost productivity, theft of intellectual property, theft of personal and financial data, post-attack disruption to the normal course of business, reputational damage, and more. Globally 467,351 cybersecurity incidents were reported in 2019 and it is estimated that by 2021 more than $6,000 million US dollars to be lost from cybercriminal activities.

The figures are alarming and the digital age is no longer a future scenario to become reality. Every day in the world thousands of companies begin their digital transformation and therefore, the issue of prevention should be of complete interest to apply instruments to reduce the risk of being victims of online crimes such as using antimalware applications and programs available on digital distribution platforms by investigating the basic terms to avoid delivering information on sites that do not have basic digital security certificates, application of due diligence protocols, exhaustive review of contracts for the provision of products and services, among others.

A very relevant fact is that Brazil and Ecuador were the Latin American countries with the highest number of victims in 2015 of “phishing” attacks, in which users are deceived by means of false emails or pages, according to a worldwide research on internet security. This study indicates that Japan is the country with the highest number of users affected by “phishing”, with 21.68%, followed by Brazil (21.63%), India (21.02%), Ecuador (20.03% ) and Mozambique (18.30%).

In conclusion, we must be aware of globalization and, therefore, that technology is constantly developing, advancing, changing and modernizing. It is necessary to be at the forefront of these issues in order to stay informed with the new trends and types of technological fraud that may arise in any of our electronic platforms or organizations.

Currently there is a Computer Crimes Unit in Ecuador, attached to the National Directorate of the Judicial Police. Here, hundreds of complaints that include this type of crimes arrive monthly, which to date do not maintain a Specialized Prosecutor’s Office on the subject.

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