Konstantin Kornakov | Feb 24 2006 16:00 GMT
The Anti-Phishing Working Group has released a new report on phishing practices for December 2005. This group tracks the activity of phishers and other malicious users on the Internet by monitoring websites and analysing malware.
Data for December 2005 provides several talking points. 15,244 unique phishing attacks were reported to the APWG. This represents a relative drop if viewed month on month, but overall remains roughly at the average level for the whole year. However, the number of unique phishing websites rose sharply from 4630 in November to 7197 in December. This may be due to the appearance of several critical vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows in that month, or even to social engineering with phishers using the festive season to their own advantage.
Quantity also brought diversity â€“ far more brands were being copied and spoofed in December than in previous months. Of these brands, the vast majority were from the financial services sector, as banks tend to be the traditional target for malicious users.
The biggest host of phishing sites continued to be the USA, with 34.67% of all tracked phishing sites hosting there. Korea and China lag far behind in this particular league table, with 9.83% and 8.98% of sites. The average lifetime for a phishing site was 5.3 days, and the longest a site stayed online was 31 days......