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Phishing Attacks Increased in April 2010

Internet security firm, Markmonitor, has recently come up with its monthly Fraud Intelligence Report. The report points to increase in the volume of phishing attacks.

The security firm stated that the volume of phishing attacks rose by 33% to 36,557 assaults in April 2010, keeping the growth trend intact from March 2010. phishing attacks had declined from August 2009 to February 2010, but now they have returned to the seasonal growth trend and peaked in late Summer/early Fall.

On an average, the monthly attacks from April 2009 to April 2010 stood at 45,605. However, the volume of phishing attacks did not touch the volume figure seen in April 2009.

According to the report, the number of attacked firms reduced by 9% to 270% in April 2010, reversing the growth trend started after December 2009, but the present level has again gone back to the same level as in April 2009.

The rise in August 2009 (341 organizations) and October 2009 (356 organizations) took place during a period of high-volume fast-flux attacks. On an average, during the span of one year (from April 2009 to April 2010), the number of firms attacked every month stood at 287.

Further, the number of firms hit for the very first time reduced by 18% to 23 organizations in April. The peak in August 2009 of 77 newly attacked firms was because of rise in the fast-flux attacks. From April 2009 to April 2010, the number of newly attacked firms per month averaged 25.

The security firm also stated that the Payment Services sector was the most important sector favored by hackers, representing 41% of phish attacks in April 2010. The most famous phishing sector, the Financial Sector, represented 33% of phish attacks.

A crucial observation by the security firm is that hackers have changed their major attack technique from fast-flux botnets to hacked sites. phishing assaults hosted on fast-flux malicious computers (botnets) remain one step below fast changing proxies but finally present a single point of failure, the harmful domain.

Since the fourth quarter of 2009 (Q4, 2009) , the MarkMonitor Security Operations Center examined an extraordinary reduction in phishing attacks hosted on fast-flux botnets along with a sharp rise in phishing attacks hosted on hacked sites.

Related article: Phishing With A Redirector Code

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