Smartphones & social media, new frontiers for phishing attacks

by CXOtoday News Desk    Feb 20, 2013

Smartphone PhishingOf all malware attacks, there has been a steady rise in volume of Phishing attacks throughout 2012, reaching an all-time high in July with 59,406 attacks detected in a single month. According, to RSA’s January 2013 Fraud Report, the estimated global losses from phishing stood at $1.5 Billion in 2012. This is a 22% increase from 2011. The total number of phishing attacks in 2012 was 445,004 while in 2011 was 258,461. Total number of phishing attacks was 59% higher than 2011.

Countries such as the U.S. and UK were targeted by the most phishing attacks in December with a combined 65% of total volume while India and Canada represented a combined 13% of phishing volume. The U.S. was once again the top hosting country for phishers, with 53% of attacks hosted followed by Germany, the UK and Brazil.

The only solace one can find in this array of Phishing attacks is its reduction by 29% in December with 29,581 attacks identified by RSA. However, this is no sign that Phishing attacks will decrease this year. As the surge in smartphone adoption continues, one can expect more phishing directed at smart phone users in 2013. Additionally, with applications will become the center resource for smartphone users and the overall popularity of apps will become just as trendy with cybercriminals. Cybercriminals will increasingly exploit mobile apps to target mobile users with phishing and other malicious content.

Social media too will act as another frontier for phishing attacks as data collected last year reveal that more than 50% of companies had Twitter, Facebook and Youtube accounts. With the world turning to a smaller and more ‘social’ village than ever, cyber criminals are by no means staying behind.