A major international antiphishing coalition said online payments services continue to be the favorite target of phishing fraudsters.
The APWG trade group said that sector accounted for 38% of detected attacks in the second quarter of 2010. Classified ads and auction sites also came under increasing attack, the group said in its latest "Phishing Activity Trends Report."
"While the once-rapid expansion of conventional phishing is apparently slowing, there is every indication that e-crime gangs are expending much greater effort to design and deploy ever more undetectable, manipulative, focused and attractive schemes to defraud consumers and enterprise users," said APWG Secretary-General Peter Cassidy.
Based on combined data from APWG members MarkMonitor, Websense and Panda Security, the report said unique phishing reports in June rose to an annual high of 33,617, down 17% from the August 2009 high of 40,621.
The number of phished brands reached a high of 276 in May, down 22% from the all-time record of 356 the previous October, the report said. Meanwhile, the proportion of monitored computers infected with banking Trojans and password stealers rose to 17%, the APWG said.
The report also said that while conventional spam-based phishing attacks appeared to level off in the first half of 2010, field reports and statistical surveys showed that crime gangs were developing new attacks, such as selling bogus security software, posting infected ads and social networking tactics such as focusing phishing attacks against key personnel such as corporate treasurers.