03 Jul 2014

Phishing Attacks on the Rise, APWG Warns

The number of phishing sites rose 10 per cent in the first quarter of 2014 compared with the same period last year -- and the US ranks first among countries hosting phishing sites, according to a report by the Anti-Phishing Working Group.

Overall, 125,000 phishing sites and 171,000 email phishing campaigns were reported by users. The US hosted around 40 per cent of them in the first three months of 2014, according to the report. This is because most of the world's websites and domain names are hosted there.

“The first quarter of 2014 saw the second highest number of phishing attacks ever recorded in a first quarter by the APWG,” the organization said.

The number of brands targeted by hackers was also slightly higher than a year earlier, jumping to 557 from 525.

Almost half of all attacks were aimed at the payment services industry, while the financial industry came second, with 20 percent.

“As Q1 levels are typically lower than what we see later in the year, we expect this to be a very active year for phishers worldwide,” said Frederick Felman, chief marketing officer at MarkMonitor.