UK sees ‘massive rise in phishing attacks’

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Added: Mar 20, 2008

Banking customers are being exposed to increasing levels of online fraud as widespread phishing attacks are rising dramatically in early 2008, according to new data.

During February 2008 alone, there were over 60,000 phishing emails sent to customers of financial services organisations, according to the Quarterly Fraud Report from online brand monitoring specialist, NetNames.

The research, carried out through NetNames’ sister company Envisional revealed that there has been a 70 per cent rise in phishing attacks between December 2007 and February 2008.

This news comes as a blow to the online security of consumers as the latter half of 2007 saw a dramatic dip in phishing emails after the highs of early 2007, and consumers may have been under the impression that the threat had gone away.

This however, is not the case, and the Quarterly Fraud Report also revealed that online fraudsters are continually targeting customers of particular organisations.

The top 3 ‘phished’ banks have increasingly become the focus of the majority of attacks, accounting for 77 per cent of all phishing emails in December, 79 per cent in January and a massive 88 per cent in February.

Jonathan Robinson, Chief Operating Officer of NetNames commented, “Just as phishing seemed to have slipped off the consumer radar, online fraudsters have leapt on the chance to capitalise on this false sense of security and have increased their phishing activity drastically in the past few months.

“Consumers must be aware of this renewed and increasing threat and make sure that they never give out personal details over email, and it is also crucial for the reputation of financial services organisations that they make their customers aware of and help protect them from these threats.”

The analysis investigated the numbers of phishing emails sent to customers of major financial institutions over a three month period between the beginning of December 2007 and the end of February 2008.