May Was Record Month for Phishing
May was a record-breaking month in many respects for "phishing" scams that use e-mail to lure people into giving up their financial and personal information at fake bank and e-commerce sites, according to a new report from the Anti-Phishing Work Group, a coalition of security companies and working with financial institutions.
Security companies detected a whopping 11,976 phishing Web sites last month, the most ever recorded. The number of different companies and brands impersonated by those sites also increased dramatically last month to unprecedented levels, from 92 in April to 137 in May (92 percent were banks).
American computers remained the biggest source of phishing attacks. Thirty-four percent of all phishing sites in May were hosted on PCs (mostly hacked personal computers) based in the United States.
The APWG also tracked a record number of unique "keystroke loggers," simple programs that record everything a victim types once they visit a site on a predefined list of financial institutions. One of the APWG's key members, Websense, this week posted a writeup pointing to a Web site hosting a targeted keystroke logger at GooglePages, a Web site hosting service from Google. Overall, however, the number of Web sites hosting keylogger programs dropped rather sharply by about 20 percent in May, the report notes.
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