Two-thirds of all phishing attacks detected worldwide in the second half of last year can be traced to a single electronic crime syndicate, according to a new report.
The Anti-Phishing Working Group said the Avalanche phishing gang successfully targeted approximately 40 banks and online service providers and other online domains as it perfected its system for mass-producing phishing sites.
"The losses by banks and individual Internet users were staggering," said Greg Aaron of Afilias, a member of the APWG coalition that includes more than 3,300 companies, government agencies and other organizations.
Aaron co-authored the report presented May 13 at the APWG's fourth-annual Counter eCrime Operations Summit in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Aaron and co-author Rod Rasmussen of Internet Identity said they also found that counter-measures had grown in effectiveness, resulting in a sharp decline, for instance, in the average amount of time a phishing site remained active before it was detected and taken down.
The full report is available at www.antiphishing.org.