The Avalanche phishing gang, reputedly the world's most active, has changed tactics, according to the Anti-Phishing Working Group.
The APWG is a global coalition of more than 1,800 industry, law enforcement and other government and non-governmental organizations formed in 2003 to fight identity theft and fraud resulting from phishing, e-mail spoofing and crimeware.
The cyber thieves have moved from using conventional e-mail spam to trick users into entering their PINs and passwords at spoof sites and instead are relying more on infecting computers with the Zeus Trojan credential-stealing malware.
The APWG said in a new report that researchers have found that the Avalanche botnet infrastructure went from accounting for two-thirds of all observed phishing attacks in late 2009 to only four this past July.
Instead, the crime syndicate now concentrates on sending billions of faked messages purporting to be from the IRS, social networks and other sites. The Zeus Trojan is then downloaded and begins capturing identifying information if the recipient visits the links in the fake e-mails.
The APWG report also warned that traditional phishing attacks continue, as well, as multiple tools are used by cyber fraudsters to steal online.