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FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – Phishing schemes will cost financial institutions in the U.S. and abroad up to $400 million in fraud losses this year and are unlikely to abate without concerted efforts to improve e-mail security and authentication technology. That figure and assessment comes from a new report by Sophie Louvel, a research analyst with Financial Insights. Louvel says thwarting the soaring impact of the schemes, which typically attract consumers to real-looking Web sites, will require going beyond the current emphasis on detection to developing “significant and widespread security enhancements to e-mail technology that, including sender authentication.” The $400 million figure is for direct losses alone. The impact also is felt in additional organization costs and erosion in consumer trust, Louvel says. She did note that the recent surge in e-mail phishing attacks has created a sense of urgency among financial institutions, large ISPs, security specialists, law enforcement agencies and university researchers now working together to agree on technology solutions and best practices. “However, until e-mail authentication standards and new anti-phishing solutions are widely adopted, phishing will continue to be a popular identity theft tactic,” Louvel says.

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