US Banks Bear Brunt Of Phishing Attacks

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

Banks and financial institutions, most notably in the US, continue to bear the brunt of all phishing attacks

A new online fraud report from security expert RSA has provided a snapshot of the current state of the battle against phishing attacks.

RSA is the security division of the storage giant EMC, and its report revealed that there was a notable decline in the number of phishing attacks in August.

Phishing Activity

RSA said that it had detected a total of 33,145 phishing attacks in August, but this was down 22 percent from July. And it warned that phishing attacks continue to have a financial implication, RSA estimating from the number of attacks that phishing has cost global organisations $282m (£173m) in losses.

It seems that financial institutions and the banking industry continues to bear the brunt of this attacks. This issue is especially bad in the United States, with nationwide banks in America witnessing an increase in phishing volume in August – from 59 percent in July to 72 percent in August. Likewise, phishing against American credit unions more than doubled from 5 percent to 12 percent last month.

Phishing topIt is perhaps no surprise then that the report also revealed that the United States remained the most targeted country in August with 61 percent of phishing volumes. China and the Netherlands received 6 percent each, while the UK and Canada each received 4 percent of attacks.

But the report reveals that Western brands continue to be the main target. RSA stated that brands in the US, UK and Canada accounted for over 40 percent of total phishing volume in August.

But where all these attacks stemming from. The answer is that Hong Kong remained the second top hosting country for phishing in August with 13 percent of total attacks. But this is not to say that Europe is innocent, after the RSA report revealed that the volume of attacks hosted in Italy doubled from July – from 3 percent to 6 percent.

Phishing continues to be an effective tactic for infiltrating enterprise networks. Earlier this month, McAfee Labs warned that the overwhelming majority of UK businesses fail to spot anything fishy about online phising traps.

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