It’s emerged that fraudsters are attempting to steal confidential information from American tax filers as the April 15th annual tax deadline approaches. There has seemingly been a sharp increase in fraudulent emails and websites that spoof the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) since the end of last year. This comes during a time where it seems that by just visiting a website, many types of phishing URLs can install malware (including IRC bots and keyloggers) with ease. Websense Security Labs is warning that it only takes one employee to click on a phishing site and accidentally give out confidential corporate data.

"Cyber thieves sit back and wait for current events such as tax season which provide an opportunity to manipulate the web for monetary rewards," said Dan Hubbard, senior director, security and technology research, Websense. "With tens of millions of online users filing their taxes on the internet, many web filers readily disclose personal identifiers such as network passwords, social security numbers, bank account numbers, or their mother's maiden name. The combination of having a large pool of potential users to target and the timeliness of the current event could lead to high numbers of both consumer and corporate victims."