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Record Increase in Phishing Sites in May 2007

The Anti-Phishing Working Group, on July 12, 2007, announced that phishing URLs that spread crimeware on users' PCs rose to a record level of 3,353 in May 2007. It was a rise of 7.4% over the previous record in February 2007 and nearly 95% more than the number in April.

Crimeware like keyloggers help to collect information for cyber criminals. They steal personal identifying data from PCs that the criminals take control over. The fraudsters then use the information to access users' e-mail and even financial accounts with the ultimate goal to steal money.

The rise in the number of crimeware URLs was primarily due to the use of the Microsoft animated cursor or ANI exploit code and the compromised web servers. Numerous such phishing sites were reported from an attack in Asia that hijacked many sites and inserted the exploit code for the un-patched ANI flaw, said Dan Hubbard, VP of security research with Websense. EFYTIMES published is in news on July 16, 2007.

In May 2007, APWG researchers from MarkMonitor, its Global Research Partners, and Websense reported that traditional phishing attacks had become more or less consistent. However, there was a growth in unique phishing sites. Also, phishers targeted their attacks on the financial services companies.

The changes in the numbers occur because phishers change their trend of using several URLs on the fixed domain. For instance, in April this year, 80% of the total phishing URLs used more than one URL in each domain, said Laura Mather, Ph.D., senior scientist, MarkMonitor. SCMAGAZINE reported this on July 16, 2007.

In May that fell to 41%. However, phishers are still using the technique of many URLs in a single domain. So there will continue to be fluctuations in the numbers, based on the number of targeted brands, said Dr. Mather. This was evident in the attacks in May 2007 on financial services companies that accounted for almost 97% of total attacks on brands.

Reporting similar observations, analyst company Frost and Sullivan suggested in early July 2007 that the profit earnings from the malware boom resulted in a 16% growth in anti-virus software trading.

Related article: Recruitment of ‘Money Mules’ – New Way To Phish

» SPAMfighter News - 30-07-2007

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