back to article Over-feeding phishers struggle to make ends meet

Contrary to popular belief, phishers make little or no money, according to a study by two Microsoft researchers. Cormac Herley and Dinei Florencio dispute the conventional wisdom that phishing represents an easy way to make money by analysing the crime in economic terms. They argue that, since each phishing fraudster seeks to …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Whilst the article

    is obviously trying to discourage phising which is a good thing, it is kinda obvious that the 'rewards' from phising are hard to obtain and more importantly keep.

    It is all digitally tracked, you have to in depth and up to date knowledge of the banking systems, to spot a crack in which you can exploit. I would say that most people with that level of knowledge are already highly paid, and probably already monitored.

    In some ways phising has been a good thing, it has probably reduced the number of street muggings and lead to easier arrests, but of course there is the expense of fighting the phising and that is probably were the real cost of phising is. So, perhaps the police should have less of a budget and have that moved to the departments actually fighting the crime.

  2. James Anderson
    Thumb Up


    A study of the problem by people who can count!

    It is usually not in the interests of anyone reporting on phinshing, spam and crime in general to give accurate figures. Daily Mail scribblers looking for eveidence of falling skies, policemen looking for bigger budgets, civil servents looking to add more small print to thier regulations, polititians looking to intrude further into your private life all exagerate thier figures shamelessly, basing thier claims on the already exagerated figures of other hysterics.

    Well done guys.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Hundreds of dollars may be a lot of money in some places

    The amounts may be small by the western standards (a couple of medium size fraudsters steal more). However it may be quite a lot by the standards of other economies from where phishing operations are actually run.

  4. Iain


    I recently received an email from a very nice Nigerian gentleman who ASSURED me he had $21,000,000 that needed 'liberating' from his country of birth and he would be happy to part with 20% if all I would do is provide a UK bank account into which it would be deposited.

    It is hard (although not impossible) to believe anyone would still be taken in by such a ruse, but those emails keep coming: "Dear Honourable Smith, I am a former Prince..."

  5. Chris
    Paris Hilton


    Not only are people still taken in by such a ruse, some of them actually seek it out. Almost every week, there are a few morons who see this story: and write to the author asking how to contact Mr. Ayele, even though the article clearly states "This article is a work of satire. Please do not send your sad stories."

    Paris, because even she has more of a clue than that.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Low skill

    Yes ungrammatical and misspelt sentences that any moderately organised thief should have avoided by running their email through a word processor first.Apparently you don't need functioning intelligence to do the IT stuff, the fake web page, which much phishing requires.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    One day my riches will come...

    I'm just sitting here waiting for my African millions to start rolling in.

    Any day now!

  8. Jason

    Phising? nah

    I've been assured that the FBI owe me 7.5 million dollars, all I have to do is contact, and he will arrange it for me.

    Surely the FBI aren't dodgy?

    Oooops... Never mind

  9. Rohit Mahajan
    Thumb Up

    good work

    Very thought provoking. Everything else I've seen on phishing losses goes soemthing like "look how many phishing sites there are, they must be making bazillions." The article actually looks hard at the data. The observation low skill jobs pay like low skill jobs makes a lot of sense to me.

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