Survey Highlights Alarming Rise in Phishing Attacks

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21st June 2013 16:22 - Information Technology

The latest Information Technology market research by Kaspersky Lab has revealed that phishing attacks - the criminal act of attempting to acquire information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication – have seen a sharp spike.

In the past 12 months alone, phishing attacks have grown by as much as 87%, from 19.9 million to 37.3 million.

Kaspersky Lab's survey, titled ‘The Evolution of Phishing Attacks 2011-2013’ was conducted on a global level and demonstrated the countries where these attacks are most prevalently coming from. In total, over half (57%) of the identified unique attack sources were concentrated in just 10 countries.

At 18.72%, the majority of phishing activity is originating in Russia, followed by the United States (12.29%), India (9.92%) and Germany (6.22%). Furthermore, the volume of phishing attacks has more than doubled in Vietnam, the United States, India and Germany in the past year. The study also discovered that the majority of servers hosting phishing pages were registered in the United States, the UK, Germany, Russia and India.

Additionally, Kaspersky Lab’s findings show that phishing tactics have changed dramatically - previously, phishing was widely regarded as a variation of typical spam emails. Now however, only 12% of all registered phishing attacks were launched via spam mail, while 88% currently originate from links to phishing pages, which people click on while using their browser, social media platform, messaging system (such as Skype) or other computer programs.

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