In 2007, Symantec celebrated its 25-year anniversary as a global leader in protecting and securing its customers from the ever-evolving threats that continue today. As a matter of fact, many of the threats Symantec routinely address today were practically unheard of in the early days.
While much of the activity back then was centered around viruses and other forms of malicious code designed to wreak havoc on customers' personal computers, today’s landscape now includes new threats that can wreak havoc on customers’ personal lives, stealing their money and also their identity. One of these threats is phishing.
While the use of social engineering has long been a component of an attacker’s arsenal, the first instances of phishing attacks as we know them today occurred in the mid 1990’s and targeted America Online (AOL). The attackers typically used either instant messages or email to trick users into divulging their AOL passwords. Victims would provide the attackers with this information, which the attackers would, in-turn, and leverage to assume ownership of the victim’s AOL account. The account could then, for example, be used to send spam and the like.