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Phishing Attacks Down in December 2009: Symantec

Security firm Symantec released its latest State of phishing Report, which assesses the phishing landscape throughout December 2009, in the second week of January 2010. The firm detected an overall decrease of 4% in phishing attacks in December as compared to November 2009.

There was a decline of 19% in the number of phishing URLs created using automated phishing toolkits and the figure came down to 21%. The firm also found that 79% of total assaults in December came from distinctive phishing sites that involved over 218 targeted brands. This share was recorded at 75% in November 2009. The increased share of distinctive phishing activity was due to a decrease in the number of toolkit phishing sites in December 2009.

Moreover, in order to better analyze assault methods as well as to identify the brands and sectors affected in December 2009, phishing websites were categorized on the basis of use of hosting sites, hosted cities, etc. Some of the categories analyzed included - phishing sites using IP address domains, fraud URLs with IP addresses, among others.

The report by Symantec also indicates a 26% fall in non-English phishing websites. Assaults in Portuguese surged further in December 2009, surpassing the attacks in Chinese and acquiring the third spot. The increased volume of attacks in Portuguese was mainly due to rise in phishing attacks on a Brazilian social networking site. Among financial brands, phishing sites in French and Italian continued to be higher, while in the e-commerce sector, there was a prevalence of Chinese language attacks.

Apart from this, in excess of 122 Web hosting services were used during the month, which contributed for 11% of total phishing assaults. This represents a rise of 2% of total Web-hosted URLs as compared to November 2009.

In the meantime, the most widely used TLDs (top-level domains) in phishing websites in December 2009 were .com (54%), .net (7%) and .org (4%) respectively, reveals the report from Symantec.

USA remained the foremost geographical location for generating phishing scams. Though, this time there was a considerable change. According to Symantec, the share of phishing lures from the USA declined markedly to 37% in December 2009 from 43% in November 2009.

Related article: Phishing With A Redirector Code

» SPAMfighter News - 1/23/2010

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