New Phishing Stats Reveal Criminals Targeted Travel and Credit Card Brands during December

OpenDNS, the world's largest and fastest-growing provider of Internet security and DNS services that deliver a safer, faster and more intelligent Internet experience to everyone, today announced new findings from PhishTank, the community website where anyone can submit, verify, track and share phishing data, that indicate cyber criminals have taken advantage of increased travel and spending volume during December by sharpening their focus on spoofing airlines and financial services. Among the most spoofed brands in December were PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, Santander and other financial services organizations. Targeting these companies is a shrewd move by cyber criminals as credit card spending increased 7 percent in December according to First Data, an organization that tracks consumer spending. A target gaining popularity with phishers is Latin America’s largest Airline, TAM, and its rewards program TAM Fidelidade. The airline, which served more than 34.5 million passengers in 2010 and continues to show year over year growth, was the target of more than 400 verified phishing sites in December. Cyber criminals target rapidly growing brands such as TAM Airlines since there is a high probability that email recipients will have previously engaged with or purchased from the organization’s legitimate site and be more likely to click on links embedded in phishing emails when a prior relationship exists. Gaming also continues to be a top target for Internet bad guys as two notable companies responsible for popular social gaming sites made the list of December’s top ten most targeted organizations. Sulake Corporation, the parent company of the tremendously popular social entertainment site Habbo.com, was December’s second most targeted brand while World of Warcraft also made the list as December’s tenth most spoofed brand. The PhishTank community, made up of hundreds of thousands of volunteers and skilled moderators who are devoted to fundamentally improving Internet security, is able to quickly and accurately vote and verify phishes. On average, phishes submitted to PhishTank are verified and blocked in only a few hours. The PhishTank community also has a high level of accuracy in identifying likely phishes and submitting them for verification. The community and its expert moderators only deemed 5.9 percent of phishes submitted in December as invalid. Since PhishTank was founded in 2006, the PhishTank community has successfully verified more than three quarters of a million phishes. PhishTank data ensures the safety of more than 30 million OpenDNS users, who are automatically prevented from reaching phishing sites. In addition, PhishTank protects the collective millions of customers of some of the world's largest technology companies, many of which use the site's data to incorporate anti-phishing functionality into their services. More information, statistics and graphics related to December PhishTank findings can be found here: https://www.phishtank.com/stats/2011/12/

Lee Johnstone

Lee Johnstone

Information Security Data Analyst, Investigative Journalist, Technology Lover, Mechanic.

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New Phishing Stats Reveal Criminals Targeted Travel and Credit Card Brands during December
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