20 August 2017
visit www.avoka.com

Phishing scams soar in 2004

07 December 2004  |  6476 views  |  0 mouse

The number of phishing scam e-mails has soared in 2004, rising more than tenfold in less than 12 months, according to a report from security services firm MessageLabs which warns that the rise may lead to fraudsters conducting targeted attacks on specific individuals and companies.

MessageLabs intercepted 279 phishing e-mails in September 2003 but the figure had risen significantly to more than two million by September 2004.

In 2004 the number of phishing attacks has soared from 337,050 in January to 4.5 million in November. Overall the company intercepted more than 18 million phishing e-mails during the course of the year.

MessageLabs says phishing-related online identity theft has established itself as the principal threat of 2004 and may signal the beginning of a wave of e-mail attacks targeted at specfic individuals and small groups of companies.

In November UK online payments processor Protx was hammered by a distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack conducted by a gang of cyber criminals running an extortion racket. US electronic payments processing firm Authorize.net was hit by a similar attack in September after receiving an extortion letter from hackers. Internet gaming site Blue Square was also targeted by extortionists who demanded almost £5000 to stop thousands of spam e-mails being sent out in its name.

Mark Sunner, chief technology officer of MessageLabs, says: "Already, particular businesses are being threatened and blackmailed, which could indicate a shift from random, scattergun approaches to customised attacks."

Other stats from MeesageLabs show that 73% of all e-mail is spam, compared to 40% in 2003, while one in 16 messages contain a virus compared to one in 33 last year. The most widespread outbreak of 2004 was W32/MyDoom.A, which hit in January this year.

Comments: (0)

Comment on this story (membership required)

Finextra news in your inbox

For Finextra's free daily newsletter, breaking news flashes and weekly jobs board: sign up now

Related stories

Phishing fraud losses exaggerated - TowerGroup

Phishing fraud losses exaggerated - TowerGroup

02 December 2004  |  11225 views  |  0 comments
Rise in phishing as cyber crooks automate attacks

Rise in phishing as cyber crooks automate attacks

26 November 2004  |  6828 views  |  0 comments
Cyber extortionists target online payments firm

Cyber extortionists target online payments firm

05 November 2004  |  5520 views  |  0 comments
MessageLabs warns of new phishing scam

MessageLabs warns of new phishing scam

03 November 2004  |  6990 views  |  0 comments
DIY phishing kits available on the Web

DIY phishing kits available on the Web

19 August 2004  |  7133 views  |  0 comments
Phishing attacks rival impact of virus outbreaks - MessageLabs

Phishing attacks rival impact of virus outbreaks - MessageLabs

10 August 2004  |  9898 views  |  0 comments
NHTCU and Russian police foil online extortion racket

NHTCU and Russian police foil online extortion racket

21 July 2004  |  5443 views  |  0 comments
Surge in online phishing - MessageLabs

Surge in online phishing - MessageLabs

19 April 2004  |  9686 views  |  0 comments

Related blogs

Create a blog about this story (membership required)
visit www.dorsum.euvisit www.niceactimize.comvisit www.worldpaymentsreport.com

Top topics

Most viewed Most shared
Mobile contactless spending accelerating in UKMobile contactless spending accelerating i...
9513 views comments | 23 tweets | 23 linkedin
Norwegian banks and startups form fintech clusterNorwegian banks and startups form fintech...
8064 views comments | 19 tweets | 23 linkedin
RBS to bring Silicon Valley to EdinburghRBS to bring Silicon Valley to Edinburgh
7630 views comments | 10 tweets | 7 linkedin
hands typing furiouslyWhy Is Risk Analytics Important?
7239 views 0 | 2 tweets | 1 linkedin
Barclays pairs banking data with third party apps for SmartBusiness DashboardBarclays pairs banking data with third par...
6816 views comments | 14 tweets | 13 linkedin

Featured job

Find your next job