Apple‘s increasing popularity is leading to the company’s users being targeted by phishing schemes, experts say.
Last week, users of Apple’s iTunes received messages stating problems with their accounts, but when users responded they were sent to a site asking for personal information such Social Security numbers. And on Saturday, Sunbelt Software’s blog posted a screen shot of a phony Apple Store billing page.
The increasing use of Apple in phishing scams is yet another sign of how much the company has grown, Andrew Lochart, vice president of product marketing at email security firm Proofpoint told SCMagazineUS.com on Tuesday.
“The scammers are pretty smart people, and they don’t waste their time on scams with companies that aren’t widely used,” Lochart said. “It’s why you see the big guys like eBay being used. There are a large number of people who can be tricked about their account. Apple is at the point now where their corporate identity is useful to the bad guys.”
Lochart also speculated that these phishers are targeting a specific demographic: young adults who have grown up with the internet and have a tendency to engage in risky online behavior, like posting personal information.
“This is something we’re going to be watching,” Lochart said. “Is it easier to get younger people to give their personal information?”
Alex Eckelberry, president of anti-spyware company Sunbelt Software said he doesn’t think these phishing schemes are that sophisticated.
“I don’t think this is specifically targeting Apple, per se,” he told SCMagazineUS.com on Tuesday. “The bad guys are running out of places to phish.”
In his opinion, he added, this is a circular trend.
“There’s definitely a trend for Apple, no doubt about it,” he said, “but this is nothing but a hunger for money and looking for new places to find opportunities to get it.”
Apple did not respond to a request for comment.