Progress in the Fight Against Phishing?
The number of unique "phishing" scams dropped a bit in April, according to the latest stats from the Anti-Phishing Working Group, a coalition of companies that tracks and fights this form of online fraud. Phishing, of course, is a broad term describing e-mail scams that try to trick people into handing over their personal and financial information at counterfeit bank and e-commerce sites.
While the APWG received a record 14,411 reports of phishing attacks in April, the overall number of unique e-mail lures and active phishing Web sites declined from the previous month. Other than that data, there is little else new in this latest report.
There is potentially one continuing trend noted in the APWG report: China appears on track to soon surpass the United States as home to the most number of phishing Web sites. In April, 26.3 percent of all phishing sites were hosted somewhere in the United States -- most likely on hacked home computers connected to the Internet via broadband services. China was the source of 22 percent of phishing attacks in April, whereas the month before it hosted just 12 percent of all known phishing sites.
The report speculates that China's increasing popularity among "phishers" probably is due in large part to the rapid deployment of broadband services in that country. That stands to reason, as the next biggest source of phishing attacks -- South Korea (10 percent) -- has long boasted one of the highest broadband adoption rates in the world.
According to a recent story from Agence France-Presse, South Korea remains the home to world's largest number of high-speed Internet users. The story looked at a study by research firm eMarketer, which found that while the United States still has more broadband households, with 34.3 million at the end of 2004, China will soon be the top broadband country in terms of total households.
For tips on how to avoid phishing scams, see this Security Fix post from March.
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