CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) observed a record number of phishing attacks in the second quarter of 2016. According to the APWG’s new Phishing Activity Trends Report, the total number of unique phishing websites observed in Q2 was 466,065.
This total represents a record-shattering increase of 61 percent from the 289,371 phish found in the first quarter of 2016, which was itself the previous high. The Q2 total was almost three times the 158,574 phish found in the fourth quarter of 2015.
According to Stefanie Ellis, AntiFraud Product Marketing Manager at MarkMonitor and an APWG contributor, “Some of the increased activity was tied to big campaigns that attacked service or cloud organizations.” Some of the increase may also be attributable to continuing improvements in detection technology.
The Retail / Service sector was the most heavily affected, and suffered 43 percent of all phishing attacks. The Financial Services and Payment Service sectors were second and third, suffering an additional 16 percent and 13 percent of attacks respectively. The number of brands attacked per quarter has remained steady while the number of attacks has increased dramatically, meaning that phishers are launching more frequent attacks against a core of frequently attacked targets.
APWG Secretary General Peter Cassidy said, “This quarter’s report reminds us that phishing is still a principal tool of cybercrime – and it is nowhere near to passing out of use by cybercrime gangs. The behavioral dimension of phishing must be addressed in as great a scale as possible, as well as the technical subterfuge that automate the cybercriminals’ enterprise.”
The full text of the report is available here: http://docs.apwg.org/reports/apwg_trends_report_q2_2016.pdf
About the APWG
The APWG, founded in 2003 as the Anti-Phishing Working Group, is the global industry, law enforcement, and government coalition focused on unifying the global response to electronic crime. Membership is open to qualified financial institutions, online retailers, ISPs and Telcos, the law enforcement community, solutions providers, multi-lateral treaty organizations, research centers, trade associations and government agencies. There are more than 1,800 companies, government agencies and NGOs participating in the APWG worldwide. The APWG's <www.apwg.org> and <education.apwg.org> websites offer the public, industry and government agencies practical information about phishing and electronically mediated fraud as well as pointers to pragmatic technical solutions that provide immediate protection. The APWG is co-founder and co-manager of the Stop. Think. Connect. Messaging Convention, the global online safety public awareness collaborative <https://education.apwg.org/safety-messaging-convention/> and founder/curator of the eCrime Researchers Summit, the world’s only peer-reviewed conference dedicated specifically to electronic crime studies <www.ecrimeresearch.org>. APWG advises hemispheric and global trade groups and multilateral treaty organizations such as the European Commission, the G8 High Technology Crime Subgroup, Council of Europe's Convention on Cybercrime, United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Europol EC3 and the Organization of American States. APWG is a member of the steering group of the Commonwealth Cybercrime Initiative at the Commonwealth of Nations.