Phishing Keeps Getting Stronger: Report

Wednesday, March 1, 2017 @ 01:03 PM gHale

Last year ended as the biggest year for phishing, a new report found.

The number of phishing attacks in 2016 was 1,220,523, according to the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) report.

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That number represents the highest amount ever recorded, a 65 percent increase over 2015, the study found.

The end of 2016 was also proof showing how phishing has become a very strong attack method and how much it has grown over the years.

In the fourth quarter of 2004, the APWG saw 1,609 phishing attacks per month. In the fourth quarter of 2016, the APWG saw an average of 92,564 phishing attacks per month — an increase of 5,753 percent over 12 years.

“Phishing is an attack that relies primarily on fooling people, rather than highly sophisticated technical implementations,” said APWG Senior Research Fellow and iThreat Vice President, Greg Aaron. “For that reason, phishing remains both popular and effective. Also, the APWG’s numbers for 2106 just measure broad-based attacks against consumer brands. The numbers don’t attempt to catalog spear phishing, which is highly targeted phishing that targets only a few specific people within a company. Truly, phishing is more pervasive and harmful than at any point in the past.”

Axur, which is a APWG member company from located in Brazil, concentrates on protecting companies and their users in Brazil from Internet- based threats.

Axur mainly monitors attacks against banks, technology firms, airlines, and online marketplaces located in the country. Axur found how criminals are perpetrating identity theft in South America’s largest economy, and knows these incidents are local and international issues.

“Criminals are re-inventing themselves all the time,” said Fabio Ramos, chief executive of Axur. “We’ve seen a decrease in the numbers of regular phishing attacks, and an increase in other methods of fraud, such as malware fake services advertised through social media platforms. We believe that now, more than ever before, efforts should be aimed at reaching out and monitoring several different channels where the frauds can take place.”

Founded in 2003, the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) is a not-for-profit industry association focused on eliminating the identity theft and frauds that result from the growing problem of phishing, crimeware, and email spoofing.

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