As long as electronic mail is in existence, there will be attempts to hack user accounts. In point of fact; today, spam makes up over half of all emails. Additionally, 92% of malware is conveyed through email. Malevolent phishing attacks are on a rapid incline – by 250%. Knowing this, an effective method in recognizing and avoiding potential threats would be to understand the definitive terminology of phishing, its logistics, origin, and future.

Spam becomes phishing once attackers began attaching harmful content. Harmful content can include an array of things; but generally speaking, this refers to files or applications infected with viruses. Often enough, these viruses are “phishing” to compromise your personal information.

Electronic mail was introduced in 1965. All was well with the effective form of communication until 13 years later when Gary Thuerk sent the first-ever spam email to 397 ARPANET users. Spam quickly became so infamous that another attempt was not made for over a decade; however, spamming gatewayed into new avenues once it was reattempted – making its way into MUD games. Intended as a prank, MUDers would bombard their rivals’ accounts with “junk” email, ultimately crashing their systems and preventing rivals from playing. In 1994, the marketing industry partook in mass spamming as 2 immigration lawyers sent a mass message advertising their services. This became the second spamming attempt in history.

Although email was never designed to be secure, AOL implemented security measures in 1995 to cease halt phishing attempts – resulting in “phishing” officially becoming a term in cyber dialect. However, by this time the Warez scene (an underground community with a niche in dispersing large quantities of copyrighted, digital material) had moved on to new scamming attempts.

Since 2006, new technology has altered how we utilize electronic mail. The future of phishing has, and will continue moving to data breaches of online storage clouds. Even Office 365 has undergone a 63% increase in cloud-security threats since 2017.

The phishing epidemic is growing exponentially with no plans of ever slowing down. Nearly 4.7 billion phishing emails are sent on a daily basis; and in 2018, the FBI received nearly 50,000 reports of phishing and compromised email. The infographic below explains new email security measures to stay protected in cloud platforms, and how phishing will impact them.

Infographic source: Avanan

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