'Phishing' scams explode worldwide, researchers shows

Jun 21, 2013

Those insidious email scams known as phishing, in which a hacker uses a disguised address to get an Internet user to install malware, rose 87 percent worldwide in the past year, a security firm said Friday.

These schemes affected some 37.3 million users around in the 12 months to April 30, according to a report by the Russian-based Kaspersky.

"The number of fraudulent websites and servers used in attacks has more than tripled since 2012, and more than 50 percent of the total number of individual targets were fake copies of the websites of banks and other credit and financial organizations," Kaspersky said.

The attackers often use emails purportedly from trusted organizations—Yahoo!, , and Amazon are top targets, according to the report.

Online game services, online payment systems, and the websites of banks and other credit and financial organizations are also commonly used to disguise phishing attempts.

Kaspersky said phishing has become a preferred method of .

"Although the specific targets of phishing attacks vary, the end goal of all engaged in this type of is ultimately the same: to make money illegally," the report said.

"This goal is achieved either by directly stealing cash from the victim, as in the case with fake online banking service pages, online storefronts, and subscriptions to online games."

But attacks may also employ a more indirect approach, including the sale of stolen databases on the black market.

"A large collection of user data may come in handy for malicious users for a number of different fraudulent schemes involving spam mailings and the spread of malware," the report said.

The countries most often hit by phishing attacks were Russia, the United States, India, Vietnam and the Britain.

The location of "hostile servers" was most frequently in the US, Britain, Germany, Russia and India, Kaspersky said.

Explore further: Twitpic to stay alive with new owner

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Password breach spreads beyond LinkedIn

Jun 07, 2012

More websites admitted security breaches Thursday after LinkedIn said some of its members' passwords were stolen, and experts warned of email scams targeting users of the social network. ...

Google finds hack attempts on eve of Iran election

Jun 13, 2013

(AP)—Google says it has discovered and stopped a series of attempts to hack the accounts of tens of thousands of Iranian users in an effort the company believes is an attempt to influence the country's upcoming election.

China, Romania key sources of hacking, report says

Apr 23, 2013

China and Romania were by far the largest sources of confirmed hacking attempts last year, with China's mostly from state-controlled sources aimed at data theft, a new report said Tuesday.

Recommended for you

Facebook dressed down over 'real names' policy

Sep 17, 2014

Facebook says it temporarily restored hundreds of deleted profiles of self-described drag queens and others, but declined to change a policy requiring account holders to use their real names rather than drag names such as ...

Yelp to pay US fine for child privacy violation

Sep 17, 2014

Online ratings operator Yelp agreed to pay $450,000 to settle US charges that it illegally collected data on children, in violation of privacy laws, officials said Wednesday.

User comments : 0