Credit unions were the target of just over one-fifth of phishing attacks against American financial institutions recorded in March, according to the latest report from RSA, the security division of EMC. Worldwide, the number of phishing attacks detected by RSA's antifraud command center was just more than 15,000, an increase of about 15% from February to March and the highest since June 2008, the company said. In the United States, credit unions were the target of 22% of the attacks, down from 38% the month before. Regional banks accounted for 56% of the total, and nationwide banks represented 22%, as well, in March. RSA also said in its new report that it has identified a new tool that allows online fraudsters to validate and check for free the accuracy of compromised credit and debit cards. Called a "card checker," it allows cyber-criminals to "directly exploit an online merchant's AVS check and enables compromised payment cards to be checked simultaneously," Massachusetts-based RSA said in its report. "The discovery illustrates yet another way fraudsters have developed tools to make their lives easier and their attacks even more profitable-especially when it comes to identity theft and stolen goods," RSA said in its report, released last week.

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