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Get ready for the rise of spymail, the hottest trend in email hacking

Image: iStock / weerapatkiatdumrong

"How many email messages did you open this month? A few dozen, a few hundred? It's hard for you to know," said Paul Everton, founder of email security company MailControl. "But marketers and hackers probably know."

Spymail is email with hidden embedded trackers that log recipient data like reading habits, keywords, and demographic and psychographic information. Though many email trackers are used for legitimate purposes, malicious spymail has emerged as a big problem for business. According to a June 2016 FBI report email scams have inflated 1,300% since 2015, resulting in $3 billion in losses by more than 20,000 companies. MailControl's internal data indicates that 40% of all email contains tracking code, and nearly 1% of that code is "high risk."

In addition to adding cost, Everton explained, spymail trackers can increase liability, expose corporate data, and help pretexters and phishers by revealing employee behavior and protocols....(continued)

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