Select Page
Journal article | Research library
| 27/02/2023

Measuring technical and human factors of a large-scale phishing campaign

Anargyros Chrysanthou | Yorgos Pantis | Constantinos Patsakis

In an era dominated by digital interactions, phishing campaigns have evolved to exploit not just technological vulnerabilities but also human traits. This study takes an unprecedented deep dive into large-scale phishing campaigns aimed at Meta’s users, offering a dual perspective on the technical mechanics and human elements involved. Analysing data from over 25,000 victims worldwide, we highlight the nuances of these campaigns, from the intricate techniques deployed by the attackers to the sentiments and behaviours of those targeted. Unlike prior research conducted in controlled environments, this investigation capitalises on the vast, diverse, and genuine data extracted directly from active phishing campaigns, allowing for a more holistic understanding of the drivers, facilitators, and human factors. Through applying advanced computational techniques, including natural language processing and machine learning, this work unveils critical insights into the psyche of victims and the evolving tactics of modern phishers. Our analysis illustrates very poor password selection choices from the victims, with 30.27% of them picking low-complexity passwords and 58.23% reusing leaked passwords. Additionally, more than 10% exhibit strong persistence in re-victimisation by posting again to the phishing platforms of the same phishers. Finally, we reveal many correlations regarding demographics and the time periods when victims are more vulnerable during the day, as well as analyse the sentiment, emotion, and tone of text responses that they submitted, illustrating how convinced they were of the scam

You May Also Like