Home  › Marketing › Strategies

Phishing Attacks Surge in Last Six Months

  |  January 12, 2005   |  Comments

More sophisticated Trojans proliferate.

Phishing attacks are rapidly on the rise, and growing in sophistication.

According to a survey conducted by Cyota, the number of attacks per month has doubled in the last six months.

"Whereas six months ago, the industry was asking whether the number of attacks would continue to grow or flatten out, it's now clear that phishing continues to grow rapidly," said Naftali Bennet, Cyota's chief executive. "The number of people aware of them is also growing."

The study was based on a survey of 655 respondents conducted by Infosurv, an online market research company.

Key findings include:

  • 44 percent of online banking customers use the same password for multiple online banking services. A password obtained by fraudsters can be used at a number of banks.

  • 37 percent of online online banking customers use the same password at other, less secure sites.

  • 79 percent of account holders check for the lock icon at the bottom of a secure Web page, but only 40 percent click the lock to view the security certificate. A lock icon is easily spoofed by fraudsters.

  • 70 percent of account holders are less likely to respond to an email from their bank, and more than half are less likely to sign up or continue to use their bank's online services because of phishing.

    "We've been seeing two major trends: a dramatic increase in volume and an increase in quality," Bennett said. "Before Phishing, emails were marked by bad grammar and formatting. Now, they're flawless."

    Cyota has also observed an increased use of phishing tactics, involving sophisticated Trojans that don't require duping a victim into providing information. The New York-based company has identified two variants: one is Trojan software that records all keystrokes, including passwords, on an infected computer, which it then emails back to the fraudster; the other variant waits until a user logs in to an online banking Web site to access the victim's financial account.

    "Once you're in," Bennet said, "they're in, too. These guys are pretty clever."

    Because some Trojans can be activated by simply opening an email, clicking an attachment, or in some cases, merely browsing a certain Web site, the threat posed by phishers is likely to increase, Bennett added.

    With Cyota's proprietary technology, it can track the country where phishing attacks originate. The leading phishing-originating countries in non-sequential order are: the U.S., China, the U.K., Taiwan, and South Korea, which is roughly approximate to the leading spam-originating countries.

    Cyota has even located do-it-yourself online phishing kits. The technology to pull off a phishing attack can be purchased for around $270.

    In 2005, Bennett predicts phishing will become even more mainstream as fraudsters shift their focus from the most-attacked major banks to small and mid-sized institutions.

  • ClickZ Live Toronto On the heels of a fantastic event in New York City, ClickZ Live is taking the fun and learning to Toronto, June 23-25. With over 15 years' experience delivering industry-leading events, ClickZ Live offers an action-packed, educationally-focused agenda covering all aspects of digital marketing. Register today!

    ClickZ Live San Francisco Want to learn more? Join us at ClickZ Live San Francisco, Aug 10-12!
    Educating marketers for over 15 years, ClickZ Live brings together industry thought leaders from the largest brands and agencies to deliver the most advanced, educational digital marketing agenda. Register today and save $500!


    COMMENTSCommenting policy

    comments powered by Disqus

    Get the ClickZ Marketing newsletter delivered to you. Subscribe today!




    Featured White Papers

    Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce

    Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce
    This Magic Quadrant examines leading digital commerce platforms that enable organizations to build digital commerce sites. These commerce platforms facilitate purchasing transactions over the Web, and support the creation and continuing development of an online relationship with a consumer.

    Paid Search in the Mobile Era

    Paid Search in the Mobile Era
    Google reports that paid search ads are currently driving 40+ million calls per month. Cost per click is increasing, paid search budgets are growing, and mobile continues to dominate. It's time to revamp old search strategies, reimagine stale best practices, and add new layers data to your analytics.


      • Copywriting & SEO Specialist
        Copywriting & SEO Specialist (HeBS Digital) - NEW YORKJOB DESCRIPTION     JOB TITLE:         ...
      • SEO Specialist
        SEO Specialist (NJM Insurance Group) - West TrentonNew Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company is an industry leader among its peers and the largest...
      • Paid Search / Search Engine Marketing (SEM, PPC) Specialist
        Paid Search / Search Engine Marketing (SEM, PPC) Specialist (HeBS Digital) - New York  JOB TITLE:        ...