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Reports of Email Fraud and Phishing Attacks Increase By 60% In February

Friday 19 March 2004 16:43 CET | News

Tumbleweed and the Anti-Phishing Working Group have released the "Phishing Attack Trends Report" for February 2004, an analysis of phishing scam attacks submitted to www.antiphishing.org, the Internets most comprehensive archive of email fraud and phishing attacks. This analysis identifies that email fraud and phishing attacks grew by more than 60% in February as compared to January, with an average of 9.7 new, unique attacks sent out to millions of consumers each day. A copy of the report may be downloaded free of charge at http://www.antiphishing.org/APWG.Phishing.Attack.Report.Feb2004.pdf Phishing attacks involve the mass distribution of "spoofed" email messages with return addresses, links, and branding which appear to come from banks, insurance agencies, retailers or credit card companies. These fraudulent messages are designed to fool the recipients into divulging personal data such as credit card numbers, bank account numbers and passwords, social security numbers, etc. Because these emails look "official," between 1% and 5% of recipients may respond to them, resulting in financial losses, identity theft, and other fraudulent activity. In addition to the direct cost of fraud and the lingering effects of identity theft for consumers, this growing application of criminal spam threatens the integrity of companies that do business online. In February, there were 282 new, unique phishing attacks reported to the Anti-Phishing Working Group. This was a 60% increase over the number of attacks reported in January, and a 163% increase over December 2003. While the average number of phishing attacks per day in February was 9.7, analyzing this information on a weekly basis shows an increasing trend with a peak of 12.4 attacks per day in the third week of February. Other interesting results from this analysis include the following: -- The company most-targeted by phishing attacks in February was, once again, eBay -- The most-targeted industry sector was Financial Services -- The Financial Services sector also sustained the most growth in terms of number of phishing attacks as compared to other industries -- In February, the identity of Regulations.gov, a government agency website, was spoofed in a phishing attack designed to steal consumers personal information

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Categories: Payments & Commerce | Payments General
Countries: World
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