PhishMe game educates online shoppers on Cyber Monday dangers

With an estimated 100 millions Americans shopping online on the Monday after Thanksgiving, the danger from cyber criminals using deceptive practices, such as phishing, is heightened. As a result, Cyber Monday has become known “Cyber Attack Monday”, the company said.

To make online shoppers more aware of this danger, PhishMe is offering on Cyber Monday a free consumer edition of its corporate anti-phishing training software, which it sells to companies to educate employees. The corporate edition enables companies to design mock phishing attacks that can be sent out enterprise-wide. If an employee falls for the attack, he or she is then provided a short training course on how to avoid phishing attacks.

For both the consumer and corporate editions, participants are presented with a series of questions asking them to indicate how they would respond to certain phishing elements they might receive in email. Correct answers add to the individual score and immediate training is provided to those players that miss the correct answer. At the end of the nine question game, players are provided with a total score; this provides participants and employers with a fast way to assess their phishing IQ, so that they can better respond to real-world attacks.

“Consumers are typically targeted by different types of phishing attacks and more so on the holiday season”, said Rohyt Belani, chief executive of PhishMe. “There is not much out there in terms of training to help consumers not fall for these scams.”

Belani told Infosecurity that his company decided to take a version of its corporate training software and offer it to consumers to fill the gap. “We said, let’s give the consumer a free shot at our software on Cyber Monday. We always hear about phishing attacks on Cyber Monday, and we are hoping that we can grab enough consumer attention to come play the game and play a part in reducing people’s susceptibility to these attacks.”

Belani offered the following safety tips for Cyber Monday: “What we are seeing are flyers for ‘deals’ on Black Friday or Cyber Monday that are PDFs that contain exploits when people open them up….We are telling people go to the actual store’s website, browse there yourself, don’t go off what is in an email….Don’t click on hyperlinks and don’t open attachments in your emails.”

The consumer edition of the phishing game focused on holiday shopping threats will be available on Cyber Monday at until December 31, 2010.

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