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US Financial Institutions First Targets of Global Phishing

The US banks are the targets of 60% of worldwide phishing attacks that aim global branded banking institutions, revealed a new report. The UK banks follow next although they have been targets of only 16% of the attacks.

According to the monthly report by Anti-Fraud Command Center of RSA that discusses online fraud, there has been a relatively unchanged distribution of world organizations under attack during the past few months, albeit financial institutions in Latin America have just joined the group.

Other countries with high level of attacks after the US and the U.K. are Spain at 6%, Italy 5%, Canada 4%, South Africa 2%, Australia 2%, Colombia 2%, Costa Rica 1% and Peru 1%.

Meanwhile, there is a rise in the number of attacks that use the host IDN (International Domain Name) to spoof a Website of a legitimate financial institution. The attacks use alphabets of the alternate order to code the IDN. One e.g. is Cyrillic where the alphabets match with the Latin letters. A spoofed IDN resembles exactly that of a real bank's domain.

The victims of these phishing attacks continue to be the same financial institutions. Banks across the US that have been victims made up to 43% of the total financial institutions. Credit Unions have been victimized in 40% of the total attacks. But attacks on regional banks have been only 17%.

Most attacks originate in the United States (at 47%) and in China (at 22%). Germany and Hong Kong come next with 7%. The list of top ten countries allowing phishing attacks had India and Switzerland as new entrants in the month of October. These countries hosted 3% each of phishing attacks.

RSA Security's financial services Marketing Director Andrew Moloney said financial institutions like banks are aware of the negative results from too much security around Internet banking. Webpronews reported this on November 13, 2007. The concern is that excessive security could lead to excess sale of a freshly introduced technology. Moreover, this does not relate to just combating fraud. It also relates to retention of customers, their satisfaction and user experience, Moloney added.

Related article: US Passes Baton to Asia in Spam Relay

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