The APWG reports in its new Phishing Activity Trends Report that
new online payment services and crypto-currency sites are being targeted
by phishers. The number of phishing attacks remained high, and the
second quarter of 2014 saw the second-highest number of phishing attacks
ever recorded in a quarter since the APWG began tracking by quarterly
periods in 2008.
The APWG detected an average of 42,793 new phishing attacks per month in
the second quarter. The number of targets dropped slightly from 1Q 2014.
Year-over-year, the number of targets was down 17 percent from the 639
observed in Q2 of 2013 to the 531 seen in Q2 of 2014. "This indicates a
higher concentration of attacks on more vulnerable brands," said
Frederick Felman, Chief Marketing Officer, MarkMonitor, and an APWG
The full text of the report is available here: http://docs.apwg.org/reports/apwg_trends_report_q2_2014.pdf
Several types of targets were attacked more than in the past. Attacked
more frequently were growing online and alternate payment services.
Examples include the Austrian cashless payments site PayLife, Hong
Kong-based alternate payment system Perfect Money, and Payoneer, an
Internet-based financial services business that allows users to transfer
money and receive payments through re-loadable prepaid MasterCard debit
cards. Attacks against established providers dipped.
"We're also seeing an uptick in phishing attacks against the users of
Bitcoin sites, notably wallet service Blockchain and the exchange site
Coinbase," said Greg Aaron, President of Illumintel and APWG Senior
Research Fellow. "The number of attacks against them remains small
overall, but we will continue to monitor his as Bitcoin continues to
gain adoption by retailers and consumers."
Attacks against retail/service sites also grew, from 11.5 to 16.5
percent of all phishing attacks. Phishers spoofed these sites because
they collect credit card numbers and other useful credentials from their
The second quarter also saw a recent increase in the spread of PUPs
(Potentially Unwanted Programs) such as spyware and adware. APWG member
company PandaLabs reports that the PUPs were spread by a proliferation
of software bundlers: programs that install PUPs on computers along with
the programs that the user actually wants to install. Overall, Trojans
remained the most common type of malware.
Meanwhile, APWG is convening its fall conference in Birmingham on
September 23-25 to address the next generation of cybercrime,
specifically inspecting crime engaging fraud architectures in the
investing and mortgage banking sectors, as well as advanced research
into fraud provenance tracing, programmatic cybercrime event data
exchange and enterprise-wide fraud management.
The conference notes page is here: http://ecrimeresearch.org/events/ecrime2014/
APWG Secretary General Peter Cassidy said, "Account-level cybercrime
against consumers and enterprises can damage accounts - but control
fraud and investment fraud has the clear potential to damage markets and
even economies. Our contributing researchers at this conference are
mapping threatscapes that menace commerce and free markets as we know
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
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
and founder/curator of the eCrime Researchers Summit, the world's only
peer-reviewed conference dedicated specifically to electronic crime
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