by Constantine von Hoffman

Americans More Likely to Fall For Online Scams and The Week’s Other IT Security News

Jan 06, 20122 mins
CybercrimeData and Information SecurityData Breach

More than half would give personal information in exchange for an online prize, anti-virus software or a get-rich quick offer

The U.S. is a very well-wired nation and also a very gullible one. According to a survey by The Ponemon Institute and PC Tools, Americans are more likely to fall for an online con than people in either the U.K. or Australia.

In a test scenario, more than half of all U.S. respondents said they would give personal information in exchange for an online prize, anti-virus software or a get-rich quick offer.

Contrary to what the Constitution says not all Americans are created equally when it comes to being suckered. Least likely to fall prey are Midwestern men between the ages of 56 and 65 who have post-graduate education, earn more than $150,000 a year, and belong to the Green Party. Those most likely to fall prey:  Women between 18 and 25, who live in the Southwest, have less than a high school diploma, earn $25,000 to $50,000 a year and say they are political Independents.

Here’s a look at other IT security stories from the week:

  • SYMANTEC SOURCE CODE EXPOSED: Hackers publish source code for two enterprise security programs – Endpoint Protection 11.0 and Antivirus 10.2. The company says the programs are at least four years old and there are no indications of any security breaches from this.
  • JAPAN DEVELOPING ONLINE DOOMSDAY PROGRAM: Japanese Defense Ministry’s software hope to monitor cyber attacks, trace them back to their source, and disable both the origin of the malware and any infected computers used to spread it.
  • SAUDI HACKERS CLAIM TO HAVE STOLEN 400K ISRAELI IDs: They say they have stolen and posted online more than 400,000 Israeli citizens’ info, including credit card numbers, names and addresses and phone numbers, in an attempt to cause widespread disruption and discredit the country’s banks.
  • ANONYMOUS THREATENS SONY, NINTENDO OVER SOPA: Backs off threats to Playstation Network, says it will attack just the executives and company sites because the corporations support the proposed anti-piracy law.
  • MICROSOFT READIES ONE OF BIGGEST BATCHES OF PATCHES: Next Tuesday’s patches will span multiple versions of Windows and Microsoft developer tools.