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Unintentional Insider Threats: A Review of Phishing and Malware Incidents by Economic Sector

July 2014 Technical Note
CERT Insider Threat Team

This report analyzes unintentional insider threat cases of phishing and other social engineering attacks involving malware.



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The research documented in this report seeks to advance the understanding of the unintentional insider threat (UIT) that results from phishing and other social engineering cases, specifically those involving malicious software (malware). The research team collected and analyzed publicly reported phishing cases involving malware and performed an initial analysis of the industry sectors impacted by this type of incident. This report provides that analysis as well as case examples and potential recommendations for mitigating UITs stemming from phishing and other social engineering incidents. The report also compares security offices’ current practice of UIT monitoring to the current manufacturing and healthcare industries’ practice of tracking near misses of adverse events.