Phishing Sites Peaked 180% in Early 2007

The total phishing websites that phishers design to steal consumers' passwords, credit card numbers, and other financial data was 27,221 in January 2007, showing a rise by 180% from 2006, reported the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG). Internetretailer published this on March 29, 2007.

The phishing site figure in January 2007 had come down from a peak level of 37,444 in October 2006. The peak growth continued during November when the number was 37,439. It later tapered off in December 2006 with 28,537 phishing sites.

Websense's manager and member APWG, Joel Camissar believes it is possible to eradicate spam, the source of phishing, if all Internet Security Protocols (ISPs) commonly filter incoming e-mails. Since only eight or nine pipes join local ISPs to the remaining world the job of blocking spam mails will be easier. Computerworld published Camissar's views on March 22, 2007.

Camissar told Computerworld that spammers were successfully employing social engineering techniques in their phishing crime.

There was a massive increase in spam from China and South Korea. This was mainly due to setting up botnets off home computers that were largely unprotected, added Camissar. Further government and private users in these regions didn't realize the importance of anti-malware programs, absence of which proliferated botnets.

In its phishing Activity Trends report, the APWG revealed that phishing e-mail attacks hijacked 176 brands in October 2006; 137 in January 2007 compared to 101 in previous January.

Phishing messages often disguise under well-known brands to make them sound legitimate to consumers. But they really lead to fraudulent sites to steal personal information of consumers. In January 2007, 88.9% of phishing cases targeted financial services organizations with 4.4% attacks on ISP sites and 2.2% attacks on retailers, the APWG said.

According to Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer for F-Secure, the spam rise brought to mind "the spam wars" of 2004. A good many notorious viruses of recent years like the Netsky, Bagle and Mydoom appeared successively in February 2004 and inflicted havoc for computer users. Zdnetasia published Hypponen's observations in the fourth week of March after the release of the APWG's report on March 20, 2007.

Related article: Phishing With A Redirector Code

» SPAMfighter News - 07-04-2007

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