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Banks remain top target for phishers

24 January 2005  |  5762 views  |  0 nice phishy

Instead of targeting online retailers in the run up to Christmas, phishers continued to focus on financial institutions as the most targeted sector for spam attacks in December, according to the latest stats released by the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG).

The research shows that 85% of spam scams detected during December were directly focused on financial services firms, an increase on the usual 70-80% of phishing attacks targeting the sector.

David Jevans, chairman, APWG, says: "It is interesting to note that the concentration on phishing attacks against financial institutions actually increased to a new high during a time when many were concerned that opportunistic phishers would spoof retail sites, using consumers urgency to keep their e-commerce accounts in order to complete their holiday shopping in time."

APWG says the number of reported hijacked brands grew to 55 in December. Out of the nine brands first reported in the month, eight were financial institutions.

Overall there were 9019 new, unique phishing e-mail messages reported to the APWG in December, a six per cent increase on November but an average monthly growth rate of 38% since July. December also saw a 10% jump in the number of active phishing sites, with 1707 reported in the month compared to 1546 in November.

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