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Surge in Phishing Targeted at Chinese Websites and Banks

According to the revelation of a new report from the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG), there was a surge in phishing attacks by 44% during the first half of 2011.

By the figures, average phishing attacks showed a decline, though China was an exception. Being in the eastern country, there was a phenomenal increase of phishing attacks in this country. Figures reveal that 70% of the malicious domain name registration across the world was set up towards infecting the Chinese institutions.

Researchers at APWG further revealed that Chinese cybercriminals arranged 11,192 unique domain names and 3,629 CO.CC sub domains for these kinds of attacks, which is an increase of 6,382 unique domain names including 4,737 CO.CC sub domains deployed for such attacks during the second half of 2010.

Statistics also showed that during the first half of 2011, 112,472 unique phishing attacks were explored throughout the world, which accounts to about three times more than the record during the same period last year.

Greg Aaron, a co-author of the report for Afilias claimed that though Chinese phishers targeted at least 26 Chinese organizations including banks, security firms, and state television broadcaster CCTV, the majority of the attacks targeted the Taobao website with 88% of such attacks. The e-commerce site of China with 15,554 attacks became the world's second-most popular phishing target after PayPal, as reported by ZDNet on November 9, 2011.

However, the average uptimes of phishing attacks showed an incredible decline during the first half of 2011 with an average time of 54 hours and 37 minutes against 73 hours during the second half of 2010. During the first half of 2011, the median uptime in the first half of 2011 was 10 hours and 44 minutes, which is the lowest median recorded in four years.

It is therefore pertinent that the Chinese phishers are utilizing domains and sub domains deployed outside China. The report also reveals that to prevent these phishing activities Chinese institutions are required to share more data with the parties.

However, according to Aaron, phishers are more inclined towards certain services that they can attack in a bulk and at a lower cost or even with free resources.

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