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Victims of Phishing Attacks Increase Sharply

There were over one million users who fell prey to phishing attacks in 2007, a greater number than in 2006, according to news from BusinessWeek published on March 3, 2008.

According to BoxSentry, vendor for e-mail security, Gartner statistics indicate that 3.6 Million adults became victims of phishing scams and lost money in 2007, compared to 2.3 Million losers in 2006, as reported by Bangkokpost on March 3, 2008.

According to Manish Goel, Chief Executive Officer of BoxSentry, the successful attacks are an outcome of the growing sophistication of phishing sites. The CEO stressed on the need to tackle the declining confidence of customers on account of phishing attacks, reported by Bangkokpost on March 3, 2008.

Talking about the escalating phishing techniques and statistics, the CEO of BoxSentry said that e-mail phishing is a crime and clearly criminals are winning in this battle. He said that with the online population in Asia rapidly increasing the worldwide phishing statistics could easily double in two years from now.

In a different statement, Goel said that phishers' methods of attack are fast improving while the public are not being adequately warned and educated. The primary attacking techniques by the phishers are use of bots and automation, which is turning the Internet to their maximum advantage, as reported by BusinessWeek on March 3, 2008. He also added that Gartner statistics revealed, $3.2 Billion lose due to phishing attacks in 2007 in the US.

Goel quoted the results from the APWG (Anti-Phishing Working Group) for November 2007 and pointed out that the number of spoofed brands was the highest in one single month that was in November 2007.

Goel said the Internet boom in the emerging markets in the Asian region is giving rise to a growing number of fresh and inexperienced Internet surfers who succumb to phishing attacks.

Meanwhile, according to a report by Symantec released around the middle of 2007, Japan hosted the highest number of phishing sites within the Asia-Pacific region. This is due to a large number of small-leveled Web-hosts that easily become targets of phishers, as attacks launched from them remain unnoticed for extended periods.

Also, it has been observed recently that cyber miscreants are using more sophisticated techniques such as Web 2.0 threats.

Related article: Victims of Internet Frauds Increasing

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