Phishers Expand Their Sphere of Attacks

Phishing attacks targeting banks reached the highest level in March this year, according to fresh statistics from RSA Security, the security unit of EMC.

The number of U.S.-hosted phishing strikes decreased significantly in March 2007. It came down from 74% of the various attacks in February 2007 to 55% in March 2007, indicated the online fraud report of security vendor RSA.

A similar trend was in the growth of the volume of attacks hosted in Russia and Hong Kong. This is likely to be a result of phishers leveraging their attacks from servers in different countries.

Phishing and pharming have been the most sophisticated, organized and innovative cyber crimes that online businesses encounter, says the report.

Fraudsters have equipped themselves with new tools and they are successfully adapting to them quickly. The number of brands under attack has also seen a massive increase, up from 153 in February 2007 to 202 in March, same year. This suggests a broadening of phishers' targets, points out the report.

Brand attacks in the U.K. accounted for 10% taking, the country to the second position after the U.S. The U.S. hosted 73% of all brand attacks. Like before Spain and Canada are in the third and fourth rankings, respectively.

In U.S. the number of attacks on banking brands dropped to 16% of total attacks in March 2007 from 19% in February 2007. This happened because phishers turned their attacks on less popular brands having rather lenient security measures.

The number of institutions facing attacks increased immensely in March 2007 as against a minor decrease in the total number of attacks, according to the report. This implies attacks were more widespread in this area i.e., targets were on a greater number of institutions while on average the attacks per institution were fewer, said the report.

RSA's Anti-Fraud Command Center, which collects Internet fraud data every month for the vendor claims that it disabled 32,000 phishing assaults since it came into being.

The report further says that fraud techniques will increase in sophistication as financial institutions adopt more anti-fraud and stronger authentication mechanisms that are diminishing phishing efficacy.

Related article: Phishers Capitalize On Human Tragedies

» SPAMfighter News - 4/25/2007

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