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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Wade Williamson, Lori MacVittie

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APWG Report: 2014 Starts With Surge in Phishing Attack Campaigns

The APWG reports in its new Phishing Activity Trends Report that the number of phishing sites in the first quarter of 2014 leaped 10.7 percent over the previous quarter. The APWG previously reported that 2013 was one of the heaviest years for phishing on record, and Q1 2014 perpetuated that trend posting the second-highest number of phishing attacks ever recorded in a first quarter.

The APWG detected an average of 41,738 new phishing attacks per month in the first quarter. January saw a temporary rash of phishing on virtual servers; these phishing attacks use a technique where a cybercriminal creates and hosts phishing pages on multiple unique domains all hosted on a compromised Web server. Attacks against payment services represented 46.5 percent of attacks in Q1, followed by attacks against banks and financial institutions at 20 percent.

A total of 557 different brands or institutions were targeted by phishers in Q1. This was up from the 525 targeted in the fourth quarter of 2013, and is climbing toward the 681 unique targets that were attacked in the second half of 2013. “The number and diversity of phishing targets continued to increase,” said Greg Aaron, APWG Senior Research Fellow and President of Illumintel Inc. “Almost any enterprise that takes in personal data via the Web is a potential target.”

Malware also continued to be a prevalent threat to Internet users. According to Luis Corrons, PandaLabs Technical Director and Trends Report contributing analyst, the percentage of infected computers around the world in Q1 has increased, reaching 32.77 percent. The countries leading the list are China (with 52.36% of computers in the country infected), followed by Turkey (43.59%) and Peru (42.14%).

The full text of the report is available here: http://docs.apwg.org/reports/apwg_trends_report_q1_2014.pdf

About the APWG

The APWG, founded in 2003 as the Anti-Phishing Working Group, is the global industry, law enforcement, and government coalition focused on unifying the global response to electronic crime. Membership is open to qualified financial institutions, online retailers, ISPs and Telcos, the law enforcement community, solutions providers, multi-lateral treaty organizations, research centers, trade associations and government agencies. There are more than 2,000 companies, government agencies and NGOs participating in the APWG worldwide. The APWG's www.apwg.org and education.apwg.org websites offer the public, industry and government agencies practical information about phishing and electronically mediated fraud as well as pointers to pragmatic technical solutions that provide immediate protection. The APWG is co-founder and co-manager of the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Messaging Convention, the global online safety public awareness campaign www.stopthinkconnect.org and founder/curator of the eCrime Researchers Summit, the world’s only peer-reviewed conference dedicated specifically to electronic crime studies www.ecrimeresearch.org.

Among APWG's corporate sponsors are as follows: Afilias Ltd., Agari, American Express, AhnLab, AT&T(T), Avast!, AVG Technologies, AXUR, BBN Technologies, Baidu Antivirus, Bangkok Bank, Barracuda Networks, BillMeLater, Bkav, Booz Allen Hamilton, Blue Coat, BrandMail, BrandProtect, Bsecure Technologies, CSC Digital Brand Services, Check Point Software Technologies, Comcast, CSIRTBANELCO, CyberIQ, Cyber Defender, Cyveillance (QinetiQ), DigiCert, Domain Tools, Donuts.co, Easy Solutions, eBay/PayPal (EBAY), eCert, EC Cert, ESET, EST Soft, Facebook, Fortinet, FraudWatch International, F-Secure, GlobalSign, GoDaddy, Google, GroupIB, Hauri, Hitachi Systems, Ltd., Huawei Symantec, ICANN, IEEE Standards Association, IID, IronPort, ING Bank, Intuit, Internet.bs, IT Matrix, Kindsight, LaCaixa, Lenos Software, MailShell, Malcovery, MarkMonitor (TRI), McAfee (INTC), Melbourne IT, MessageLevel, Microsoft (MSFT), MicroWorld, Mirapoint, NHN, MyPW, nProtect Online Security, Netcraft, Network Solutions, NeuStar, Nominet, Nominum, Public Interest Registry, Panda Software, Phishlabs, Phishme.com, Phorm, Planty.net, Prevx, Procera, Proofpoint, QinetiQ, Rakuten, Return Path, RSA Security (EMC), RuleSpace, SAIC (From Science to Solutions), SalesForce, SecureBrain, S21sec, SIDN, Silverpop, SiteLock, SoftForum, SoftLayer, SoftSecurity, SOPHOS, Square, SunTrust, SurfControl, Symantec (SYMC), Tagged, TDS Telecom, Telefonica (TEF), TransCreditBank, Trend Micro (TMIC), Trustwave, Vasco (VDSI), VeriSign (VRSN), Websense Inc. (WBSN), Wombat Security Technologies, Yahoo! (YHOO), and zvelo.

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