Phishing is still in fashion, according to a new report from the APWG.
The number of phishing campaigns detected worldwide in the third quarter of 2013 jumped 20% from the previous three months, according to the report issued Tuesday by the industry, government and academic coalition formed in 2003 as the Anti-Phishing Working Group.
The total number of unique phishing websites observed rose to 143,353 last July-September, up from the previous quarter’s 119,101, the APWG said in its latest Trends Report.
"Fraudsters look for profit and zoomed in on the brands that deliver the highest returns,” said Ihab Shraim, chief information security officer for MarkMonitor and a Trends Report contributing analyst.
While there was an 8% decline in the number of brands targeted by phishers – from an all-time high of 441 in April to 379 in September – the increase in overall volume is due to growing attacks on money-transfer and retail/e-commerce websites, the APWG said.
“In the third quarter of 2013, we also saw a change in the phishing themes used by malware authors. An emphasis on social media-themed subjects, such as ‘Invitation to connect on LinkedIn’, was used to entice users who would be used to seeing such subjects,” said APWG contributor Carl Leonard of Websense Security Labs.
More than 59% of computers in China also appeared to be infected with malware or spyware, a record high for any country, the APWG said.