Financial phishing skyrockets

Kaspersky Lab’s experts have reported a substantial increase in the amount of financial phishing in spam globally.

According to Andrew Potgieter, security solutions director at Westcon: “Recent data released from Kaspersky Lab suggests that there was recently a 7.9% increase in the amount of scam emails that make use of the names of reputable banks, payment services, online stores and similar organisations. The figures are staggering and the team advises that these messages represent nearly 42% of all phishing messages. The hardest hit has been PayPal and references to the company has triggered the most dramatic increase in alerts from Kaspersky Lab’s anti-phishing.”

In addition the Labs indicate that overall the share of spam in overall email traffic has increased by 2.2% in July, bringing it to 67%. The USA is the “leading” country of origin for unsolicited email: one sixth (15.3%) of all global spam was sent from this country. Russia keeps its long-standing second position in this ranking with 5.6% of all spam; this, however, is 1.4% less than in June. China remains in third place, supplying 5.3% of global spam.

The long hot summer in the Northern Hemisphere left its mark. In particular, the Russian segment of the Internet saw a surge of spam messages advertising sun protection and items to battle the heat. Also in July, Kaspersky Lab’s experts recorded an increase in the number of spam emails offering a variety of summer goods like air conditioners, cooling fans, sunscreen films for windows, bottled water and sunglasses.

Summer also means holidays, and since everyone wants to look their best on the beach spammers didn’t forget to offer some help. There were quite a number of spam emails in July advertising all types of skin care cosmetics and seasonal discounts from beauty shops and parlours. Kaspersky Lab’s experts also discovered video tutorials advertised as “beauty secrets” revealed by a renowned stylist.

“In summer, business activity slows down and spammers switch to more lucrative partner spam, including malicious mailings. As a result, spam becomes more criminalized and poses a greater risk to users. International spamming trends picked up by Kaspersky Lab can help local end-users to be informed of what sorts of scams to look out for this summer, and clearly financial phishing is a large threat,” says Potgieter.

Spammers did not overlook corporate users, either, although business activity is far from its peak in July. In the middle of the summer, cybercriminals specialising in distributing advertising emails in the Russian part of the Internet decided to grab users’ attention with offers related to organising corporate events outdoors and aquatic entertainment.



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