Phishing Trends: Numbers Up, Corporate Accounts Targeted

The latest report from the Anti Phishing Working Group (APWG)paints a distressing picture for anyone doing transactions online, says the chairman of the APWG. All phishing numbers are on the rise. The number of unique phishing reports submitted to APWG for the third quarter of 2009 reached a record 40,621 in August — 10 percent more than the previous record set in September 2007. “What we are all seeing is that the criminals are still continuing their attacks and it is getting worse,” the chairman says. “They’re getting way more sophisticated.” The number of unique phishing websites reached a record 56,362 in August, displacing the previous reported high of 55,643 in April 2007. The number of hijacked brands rose to a high of341, up more than 10 percent from the previous record of 310 in March 2009. What really worries the chairman is the targeting of corporate bank accounts and high-wealth customers, as well as the circumvention of authentication technology. “These criminals are rapidly figuring out how the financial industry works, where there is big money and large transfers, so they can basically do large wires out of these accounts without setting off fraud alerts.” The chairman says bluntly, “I think we’re in for a challenging year.” He’s heard from banks telling him it is a hostile environment. “They’re scrambling for answers to this because they just can’t be everywhere the hackers are —even on the users’ computers.”

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