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Symantec Reports Less Phishing Attacks in August

In its monthly State of phishing report, the Internet security firm Symantec has shown a decline of 45% in phishing attacks and that of 30% in the use of automated phishing toolkits in August.

The drop recorded in both the categories was mainly accredited to the end of automated toolkit that was targeting social networking websites, although the current situation may be short-lived, said the researchers.

The report too highlighted that even though the phishing toolkit activity has reduced, it might be only a short-term variation in attackers' planning, as revival in the upcoming holiday season is quite inevitable.

Furthermore, only one in 341.2 e-mails, i.e. 0.29% e-mails, contained one or the other form of phishing attack, showing a 0.01% drop since July 2009. After evaluating phishing attacks as a part of all email-borne threats like viruses and Trojans, the volume of phishing e-mails fell by 6.0% to 86.9% of all e-mail-generated threats detected in August.

Symantec's report also demonstrated an 11% rise in English language assaults, and the US continued to be the leading country for hosting phishing sites and targeted brands, with banks by far being the most sought after target.

Further, on a whole, the US hosted 33% of the phishing attacks, while US cities Houston, Dallas and Atlanta constituted the top 10 cities for hosting attacks. London stood at the 7th position. If we talk of phishing attacks in languages other than English, then the most popular language was French, which was followed by Italian, Chinese and Spanish.

Moreover, experts said that attackers are extensively using malicious Web links and Trojan horse programs designed to steal passwords in order to gain their personal information.

In addition to this, according to the report, the overall ratio of spam in e-mail traffic from the latest and previously unidentified malicious sources was 1 in 1.13 e-mails (i.e. 88.5%), indicating a 0.9% drop since July 2009. In addition, the global ratio of viruses conveyed by e-mails in total e-mail traffic from the fresh and previously unknown sources stood at 1 in 296.6 e-mails (0.34%), which is nearly intact since July 2009. In August, 14.8% of e-mail-conveyed malware embedded links to malicious sites, indicating a 0.4% decrease since July 2009.

Related article: Sentence for American Contractor for Sabotaging Government Navy Computers

» SPAMfighter News - 9/30/2009

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